The Obligations of Transnational Corporations: Rawlsian Justice and the Duty of Assistance

Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (4):643-661 (2004)

Abstract
Building on John Rawls’s account of the Law of Peoples, this paper examines the grounds and scope of the obligations of transnational corporations that are owned by members of developed economies and operate in developing economies. The paper advances two broad claims. First, the paper argues that there are conditions under which TNCs have obligations to fulfill a limited duty of assistance toward those living in developing economies, even though the duty is normally understood to fall on the governments of developed economies. Second, by extending Rawls’s account to include a right to protection against arbitrary interference, the paper argues that TNCs can be said to have negative and positive obligations in the areas of human rights, labor standards, and environmental protection, as outlined in the U.N. Global Compact. More generally, the paper aims to further our understanding of the implications of Rawls’s account of justice
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X  
DOI 10.5840/beq200414437
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References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.
Political Theory and International Relations.Charles Beitz - 1979 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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