(Re-)enter the State: Business and Human Rights Dynamics as Shapers of CSR Norms and Institutions

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This chapter takes its point of departure in United Nations (UN) and OECD business governance instruments as examples of emerging transnational governance to address public interests and social expectations and needs through norms for transnational economic activity and institutions to promote and enforce such norms. This is discussed from the interaction between the UN Framework (2008) and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011) and the 2011 revision of OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational (and other) enterprises. These are evidence of active governmental involvement in shaping CSR through transnational normative standards and social risk-based due diligence recommendations, and the reactive and proactive enforcement and promotional role of National Contact Points under OECD’s Guidelines. We discuss this from the perspective of public authorities’ rationality leading them to address public interests through CSR. We show that a public interest and transnational law take on authorities’ soft or hard efforts to shape business activity through CSR offers a perspective that differs from the previous literature on the public–private connection between CSR and public interests. It adds to the literature by focusing first and foremost on CSR as a way to implement public policy interest through business activity rather than the strategic interest of business, and because it shows that CSR is shifting from implicit or even explicit business focus on assisting in governmental tasks to explicit public regulatory focus aiming at reducing business-related infringement of public interests.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCorporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Change : Institutional and Organizational Perspectives
EditorsArnaud Sales
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9783030154059
ISBN (Electronic)9783030154073
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesEthical Economy


  • Business and human rights
  • CSR and public policy objectives
  • Governmental regulation of CSR
  • OECD’s guidelines for multinational enterprises and national contact points
  • ‘Smart’ regulation
  • Transnational business governance

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