Constraining Global Corporate Power: A Short Introduction

This Essay sets out three models of institutional constraint of global corporate power. First is private lawmaking, in which the non-state power of firms is countered by the non-state power of civil society organizations. Second are nonlegalized processes under public institutional umbrellas, in which public entities host standards-setting mechanisms. Finally, there is the prospect of fully legalized regimes, the equivalent of global regulation. These models have been emerging bottom-up rather than as part of a grand scheme. After describing the three models, this Essay considers the future of global regimes aimed at constraining corporate conduct. Distinct institutional approaches could persist. Alternatively, there may be a progression toward more robust public regulation at the global level. Power may migrate to something approximating global government, directly regulating corporations and other entities.

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