Humanizing global economic governance

Picciotto, Sol (2014) Humanizing global economic governance. In: Linking Global Trade and Human Rights : New Policy Space in Hard Economic Times. Cambridge University Press, pp. 27-45. ISBN 9781107047174

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Neoliberal ideologies have powered the international processes of liberalization since the 1980s, a time dominated by the so-called Washington Consensus. The opening of markets, privatization, deregulation, and minimal government were all characteristics of this period, each playing no small role in the shaping of human rights and social policy spaces. Impulses to resort to human rights ideas to counter neoliberal ideologies are thus easy to understand and even to sympathize with, but they also pose an important question: Can human rights discourses and law provide an adequate response to the challenges of the post-liberal order confronting us? The neoliberal model was significantly modified from the mid-1990s and especially after the Asian financial crisis of 1997–1998, toward a post–Washington Consensus paradigm stressing the importance of good governance and regulation. This shift involved not only reform of the public sphere (politics and government) but also of the apparently private sphere of economic activity, the latter taking the form of pressures for greater corporate accountability and responsibility. These pressures sparked the renewal of the various types of corporate codes and guidelines which first originated in the 1960s, as well as the relaunching of attempts to construct an overarching framework for responsible global business under the auspices of the United Nations (Picciotto, 2011, ch. Significantly, the recent initiatives are founded on human rights obligations as opposed to the earlier movement for a UN Code of Conduct for Transnational Corporations (TNCs), and are focused on strengthening new policy spaces for national and international regulation.

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Publisher Copyright: © Cambridge University Press 2014. Copyright: Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
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13 Jul 2022 11:00
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16 Jul 2024 05:09