Ethical Business Leadership in Troubling Times
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Ethical Business Leadership in Troubling Times

Edited by Joanne B. Ciulla and Tobey K. Scharding

Perhaps the fundamental question in CSR is: What are the responsibilities of businesses and business leadership to society? Moreover, do the responsibilities of business change in times of social and political turmoil? The chapters in this book tackle several aspects of these questions with chapters on business and politics, the environment, technology, and immigration; along with broader questions about leadership, governance, and the very nature of CSR.
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Chapter 11: Francisco de Vitoria’s ius gentium: how to engage human rights in business from the Catholic Social Teaching (CST) tradition

Alejo José G. Sison


This chapter introduces Francisco de Vitoria’s teachings on ius gentium as an alternative source for human rights discourse in business. In embracing personalism and the common good, ius gentium shows itself to be fully aligned with Catholic Social Teaching, together with other elements such as the virtues and Natural Law. Thus, it differs from the dominant Enlightenment version of human rights, wedded to individualism and material-preference satisfaction. It traces the use of ius gentium as the basis for the protection of the rights of American natives after the Spanish discovery of the New World. It then proceeds to explain the place of ius gentium between Natural Law and Positive Law, on the one hand, and its relation to International Law, on the other. The chapter ends with an account of the normative potential of ius gentium for current business ethics challenges.

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