Neoliberalism, Business and Human Rights

Open Panel

As criticism and awareness of business and corporate involvement in human rights abuses increased in the 1990s, the UN Human Rights Council finally endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in 2011. This UNGP says business have a responsibility to respect human rights recognized in international fundamental human rights treaties.
Although the UNGP was a result of work by political scientist Professor John Ruggie, the then UN Secretary General’s Special Representative, the existing literature on Business and Human Rights (BHR) have been developed mainly by international human rights lawyers. Efforts to incorporate political science into BHR research are still limited. However, BHR concepts have produced new political phenomena. For example, BHR added business as new positive actors and new political channels into the human rights norm diffusion process. The development process of this BHR concept, and political influence of BHR are worth being researched from political science perspective. While some are hopeful about the engagement of businesses in the promotion of human rights, others are concerned that corporations would use their power to subvert human rights goals and policies, especially now, when neoliberalism is operating as the main economic paradigm.
In this panel, we call for papers with a political analysis of BHR. For instance, the following issues are expected: development process of BHR, political influence of BHR, public policy on new technology, and new business atmosphere (protectionism, US-China trade war, resource war...) which can all be related to main theme of IPSA2020 “Nationalism”.