Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations
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Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations

Edited by Alice de Jonge and Roman Tomasic

Transnational corporations (TNCs) have moved to the forefront of regulatory governance both within states and in the international arena. The Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations provides expert background commentary and up-to-date insights into regulatory frameworks impacting on TNCs at global, industry and national levels. Written by global experts in their field, this unique collection of essays provides in-depth understanding of how the forces of globalisation affect the world’s largest corporations, and how those corporations, in turn, shape globalisation.
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Chapter 3: The evolving relationship between TNCs and political actors and governments

Larry Catá Backer


This chapter considers the nature of the relationships among TNCs, political actors and government, as a set of emerging ecologies of political economy. Each represents a distinct response to the transformation of the global legal, economic and political order in the face of globalization. Each exists autonomously and is evolving simultaneously, yet each is significantly interconnected within a polycentric governance order that lends overall structure without a centering position. The chapter starts with the conventional and traditional ecology of relationships, centered on the state. It then considers the three most distinctive forms of emerging relational ecologies emerging that de-center the state. The first is based on the TNC as the centering element of production chain order. The second is grounded on the emergence of non-state governance centers that assert order through certification, verification, and monitoring. The third posits the emergence of a multi-stakeholder autonomous and self-referencing system around production chains. The chapter briefly considers whether there is something like meta theory structuring the disaggregated and scattered by intermeshed systems that have arisen around the state. The chapter ends with a brief suggestion of what may lie ahead.

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