Multinational Corporations and Global Justice: Human Rights Obligations of a Quasi-Governmental Institution

By Florian Wettstein | Go to book overview

Preface

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS and their just coexistence in a global society—and it is about corporations. We cannot discuss global justice without taking these powerful institutions into account. The practical realization of global justice will be virtually impossible without paying adequate attention to the role of large corporations. Thus the perspective on multinational corporations in this book is derived from the primary emphasis on global justice. The connection also holds the other way around; if we are to truly understand the role and responsibility of multinational corporations in the global political economy, we cannot discuss them without paying adequate attention to the concept of global justice. Corporations are built by and for human beings, and they have been built with a purpose—a public purpose. It is important to remind ourselves of this purpose behind economic ideas today. More than ever, during the last three decades we have disconnected the concept of the corporation from its humanistic foundations and studied it in a social vacuum. We tend to discuss the theories of modern corporations and the conclusions we draw from them without ever taking a closer look at the normative assumptions on which they inevitably are built.

Any book about corporations is at the same time a book about human beings and society; however, we have come to forget that the corporation is designed to serve the people, rather than the other way around. This in itself speaks volumes about how we see and interpret the world today. There are no books that do not contain and promote specific worldviews. We cannot escape the normativity of our own being and writing, no matter how hard we try. We can either state those worldviews explicitly and make them the subject of the book itself, or we can try to obscure them behind the veil of theory and

-ix-

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