Multinational Corporations and Global Justice: Human Rights Obligations of a Quasi-Governmental Institution addresses the changing role and responsibilities of large multinational companies in the global political economy. This cross- and inter-disciplinary work makes innovative connections between current debates and streams of thought, bringing together global justice, human rights, and corporate responsibility. Conceiving of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from this unique perspective, author Florian Wettstein takes readers well beyond the limitations of conventional notions, which tend to focus on either beneficence or pure charity.
While the call for multinationals' involvement in the solution of global problems has become stronger in recent times, few specifics have been laid down regarding how to hold those institutions accountable in the global arena. This text attempts to work out the normative basis underlying the responsibilities of multinational corporations—thereby filling a crucial void in the literature and marking a milestone in the CSR debate.
About the author
Florian Wettstein is Assistant Professor in the Department of Ethics and Business Law at University of St. Thomas.
"Overall, Multinational Corporations and Global Justice serves as a necessary integration of the merging theories of [corporate social responsibility] and global justice. By retreating from the statist model, Wettsteain ably makes the case for including [multinational corporations] when talking about the vindication of global human rights. By presenting human rights as moral rights that are not reliant upon legal instruments, [multinational corporations] are faced with a humanist though abstract reason for adhering to human rights norms. Going forward, Wettstein hopes, these two insights will re-orient the global sphere from one obsessed with corporate self-interest to one of coordinative development."
—Sylwia Wewiora, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics
"This cross and interdisciplinary work makes innovative connections between current debates and streams of thought, bringing together global justice, human rights, and corporate responsibility."
—Abstracts of Public Adminstration, Development, and Environment
"Wettstein presents a compelling argument for imposing human rights obligations on multinational corporations (MNCs). His ambitious three-part inquiry is grounded in an examination of human rights and social justice theory, including an engagement with political economy and business organization theory.... Wettstein's book is an impressive piece of scholarship. The breadth and depth of its research combined with the rigor of his argument and the authentic way in which he engages with the 'other side' make it a must read for anyone with a serious interest in business and human rights."
—Sophie Cacciaguidi-Fahy, H-Net Reviews
"This is an impressive, erudite, and timely contribution to an emerging debate on the consequences of globalization for the role of business in society. It will be a must read for scholars who do research on corporate responsibility."
—Guido Palazzo, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
"Wettstein pulls together the philosophical underpinnings of human rights as they relate to corporations; he vividly demonstrates the limitations of voluntary corporate social responsibility in a world where companies assume ever-increasing power. Then, he focuses on how multinational corporations need to respond as they struggle with human rights issues, not only as businesses, but also as powerful global actors with moral obligations. If you are concerned about the use and abuse of corporate power in todays world, then this is the book for you."
—Sandra Waddock, Galligan Chair of Strategy, Boston College