Constantin McGill
Introduction In the words of Sundhya Pahuja and Anna Saunders, the second half of the twentieth century staged a 'series of encounters between rival practices of world making, each of which travelled with rival accounts of international law'.[1] Anti-colonial disputes, the Cold War, the rise of developmental issues and the increasing popularity of neoliberalism are only some of the events that generated these competing views of the international legal order. These events brought different
more » ... ions across the Global North and Global South, and different 'alliances of interest between 'public' and 'private' actors'.[2] At the heart of the system that emerged during this period lie two fundamental elements: the modern multinational corporation and human rights. How to conceptualize multinational corporations (MNCs) and how to define their relation to the law and the State was part of these rival stories. In this dissertation I explore the co-emergence of multinational corporations and the consolidation of the discourse on human rights at the level of the United Nations throughout the second half of the twentieth century and analyze the resulting conceptual gap that created tensions in the international legal order. In particular, I will examine how this encounter, which became evident as calls for a New International Economic Order (NIEO) were being advanced within the UN, came to eventually produce the idea of 'Corporate Social Responsibility' (CSR). I will show that CSR emerged from the failure of the NIEO, particularly in relation to the roles and responsibilities of private actors in the global economy and how this can be traced to the limits of initiatives addressing the tensions between human rights claims and the interests of multinational corporations. This dissertation will provide its readers with a fruitful understanding of the crucial role that international law played in this development and further, what implications this had on the political and economic level. The first section of this dissertation [...]
doi:10.22024/unikent/03/klr.1023 fatcat:wc5vdtl3yjanvn7glp5bbfsa3i