Post-Westphalia and Its Discontents

Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (2):285-297 (2010)
This article examines the presuppositions and theoretical frameworks of the “new-wave” “Post-Westphalian” approach to international business ethics and compares it to the more philosophically oriented moral theory approach that has predominated in the field. I contrast one author’s Post-Westphalian political approach to the human rights responsibilities of transnational corporations (TNCs) with my own “Fair Share” theory of moral responsibility for human rights. I suggest how the debate about the meaning of corporate human rights “complicity” might be informed by the fair share theory. While I point out that Post-Westphalians and moral philosophers may have fundamental disagreements about basic concepts such as legitimacy, justice, and democratic deliberation, I conclude that the Post-Westphalians have made a major contribution to the expansion of the field by presenting business ethicists with an opportunity to inform and guide debates about the potential future course of transnational governance
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