Just Business: Multinational Corporations and Human Rights

John Ruggie, Author
John Ruggie. Norton, $23.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-393-06288-5
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-393-93797-8
Open Ebook - 160 pages - 978-0-393-08976-9
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In 2005, Kennedy School of Government professor Ruggie was called upon by Kofi Annan for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights to “identif[y]... international human rights standards” that “proscribe corporate conduct... and clarif[y] the respective roles of states and business in safeguarding those rights.” Aside from contemplating atrocities such as “bonded labor in factories,” the exploitation of child workers, and security guards who rape and kill, Ruggie faced enormous questions such as: “how can human rights norms most effectively be embedded in state and corporate practice to change business conduct”; and “how can this be fostered and achieved in the global sphere where multinational corporations operate but which lacks a central regulator?” Ruggie chronicles his six-year journey from a near-hopeless situation to creating the “Protect, Respect, and Remedy Framework” and a supporting set of guiding principles (endorsed by states, businesses, and civil society), which lay out the steps states and businesses must implement and includes an agreed-upon mandate that “states must protect, companies must respect, and those who are harmed must have redress.” Ruggie analyzes key violations, including those by Nike, Shell, and Yahoo, before looking ahead and discussing next steps. Part of the Amnesty International Global Ethics series, this book provides a shining example to leaders that apparently insurmountable global issues are not lost causes. (Mar.)
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