Institutionalizing global governance: the role of the United Nations Global Compact

Business Ethics 21 (1):100-114 (2012)
Abstract
The United Nations Global Compact – which is a Global Public Policy Network advocating 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and anticorruption – has turned into the world's largest corporate responsibility initiative. Although the Global Compact is often characterized as a promising way to address global governance gaps, it remains largely unclear why this is the case. To address this problem, we discuss to what extent the initiative represents an institutional solution to exercise global governance. We suggest that new governance modes, which have arisen in the context of globalization, often adopt a multiactor, multilevel, and network-based approach. We then analyze how far the Global Compact's institutional design reflects this multiactor, multilevel, and network-based steering mode. Drawing on this discussion, we offer suggestions regarding how the initiative can be further developed
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