The Global Community proposes to institutionalize a global regulatory framework for capitals and corporations that emphasizes global corporate ethics, corporate social responsibility, protection of human and Earth rights, the environment, community and family aspects, safe working conditions, fair wages and sustainable consumption aspects, and getting ride of corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
There is a broad range of regulatory initiatives that relate to the social, environmental and human rights responsibilities and regulation of
transnationals corporations (TNCs). This project contains three main sections:
A) industry self-regulation (such as the Business Charter for Sustainable Development and the Responsible Care Ethic and Codes of Practice)This project is useful to anyone involved or interested in issues of corporate responsibility and regulation. While new initiatives are proposed every day, this Resource Guide gives a comprehensive overview of the main types of corporate regulation to date.
Thinking and policy on corporate regulation have been in flux during recent decades. Whereas the neoliberal discourse of the 1980s
emphasized deregulation and corporate rights, the corporate social responsibility agenda of the 1990s stressed corporate
self-regulation and voluntary initiatives involving, for example, codes of conduct, improvements in occupational health and safety,
environmental management systems, social and environmental reporting, support for community projects and philanthropy. As the limits
of self-regulation became apparent, and as the regulatory capacity or willingness of developing country governments, international
bodies and trade unions continued to decline, alternative regulatory approaches have emerged. These have centred on coregulation, in
which a combination of government, multilateral, civil society and business interests engage in public-private partnerships and
multistakeholder initiatives associated with standard setting, reporting, monitoring, auditing and certification. More recently
there have been increasing calls for corporate accountability and a renewed interest in international regulation of transnational
corporations. From the perspective of development and good governance, how effective are these different approaches?
This project explores the existing arrangements for multilateral regulation of large firms, and makes the case for balancing
strengthened global corporate property rights with more explicit and enforceable social obligations. In a democratic market-based
society, investors have legally enforceable rights but must also obey laws designed to protect workers, consumers and the environment.
Competition regulations are designed to counter market power and business taxes ensure the provision of public goods. Strengthened
multilateral co-operation in three related areas—investment, tax and competition—is under way. Although progress is slow and
contested, the distinct interests of host and home countries are clear and the "development dimension" is broadly recognized. In
marked contrast, corporate conduct on labour and environmental issues is still almost exclusively regulated at the national level.
Moreover, external standards of international corporate responsibility in developing countries are set by voluntary initiatives,
with market incentives rather than legal requirements constituting the basis for compliance.
Back to top of page