Human Rights and Transnational Corporations: For a multi-level governance approach
Title: Human Rights and Transnational Corporations: For a multi-level governance approach
Author: O'BRIEN, Claire
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2009
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
The thesis argues for adoption of a multi-level governance perspective with regard to the problematic of the regulation the human rights impacts of transnational business, on three main grounds. First, that the multi-level governance lens represents a better analytical fit with the 'regulatory space' of transnational business and human rights than does a traditional international human rights law paradigm. Secondly, because of this, and its cognizance of regulation proceeding via formal law, as well as through transnational social human rights governance activities, it is more likely to issue in coherent and effective approaches to human rights regulation of business in transnationally integrated markets. Thirdly, because multilevel governance approaches are more consistent with a human rights law's underpinning values, at least as critically understood, than are paradigms under which legitimate authority originates exclusively from state-based structures. This argument the thesis presents obliquely. Chapter 2 considers initiatives to regulate transnational business' human rights impacts via international legal norms in the UN, OECD and ILO. Chapter 3 maps transnational social governance initiatives on business and human rights. Chapter 4 assesses the mandate of the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Chapter 5 explores engagement with the issue of human rights impacts of business under transnational economic integration from the perspective of labour law. Chapter 6 describes the multi-level governance lens. It first gives account of the concept of governance simpliciter within the disciplines of public administration, social theory, regulation theory and international relations. It turns next to ideas about multi-level governance as recently developed in European Union studies. Finally, it considers challenges to legitimacy within multi-level governance systems, focussing on the issues of accountability, participation and deliberation. In concluding, Chapter 7 reasserts the preference for multi-level governance narratives over traditional inter-national human rights law paradigms with reference to cosmopolitan precepts.
LC Subject Heading: Human rights; International agencies; International business enterprises -- Law and legislation
Defence date: 30 October 2009; Examining board: Simon Deakin (Cambridge), Christian Joerges (Supervisor, former EUI and Bremen), Bronwen Morgan (Bristol), Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (EUI)
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