Neue Veröffentlichung von Prof. Boris Holzer, Ph.D.

im Research Handbook on Soft Law

Holzer, Boris (2023): Rules and responsibilities: business and social norms in transnational governance. In: Mariolina Eliantonio, Emilia Korkea-aho und Ulrika Mörth (Hg.): Research Handbook on Soft Law. Cheltenham/Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, S. 132–144.


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Chapter 9: Rules and responsibilities: business and social norms in transnational governance

The transnational governance of economic activities, including human rights, labour and environmental standards, remains subject to variations across domestic regulatory regimes. Private and hybrid regulation initiatives define rules to fill the corresponding governance gap, for instance through non-binding codes of conduct and certification schemes. Such rules spell out social norms that are advocated by transnational activists and supported by consumers in affluent democracies. This chapter focuses on the dynamics of rulemaking, accountability and blame between business, political activists, and the public. On the one hand, many transnational corporations have adopted corporate social responsibility policies as well as social and environmental reporting - often in reaction to the reputational risks inherent in doing business across political and legal borders. On the other hand, activists and transnational non-governmental organizations constantly observe corporations and use perceived misdemeanours to point out shortcomings of regulation. Sometimes in interaction with or in anticipation of legislation, such interactions result in the elaboration of a transnational, fragmented normative framework for corporate decision-making.