Corporate Power over Human Rights: An Analytical Framework

Journal article


Birchall, D. (2020). Corporate Power over Human Rights: An Analytical Framework. Business and Human Rights Journal. 6 (1), pp. 42-66. https://doi.org/10.1017/bhj.2020.23
AuthorsBirchall, D.
Abstract

This paper presents an original framework designed to systematize understanding of corporate power over human rights. The framework disaggregates four sites of this power: corporations have direct power over individuals’ human rights, power over the materialities of human rights, power over institutions governing human rights, and power over knowledge around human rights. This disaggregation is derived primarily from the work of Barnett and Duvall and focuses on the effects of corporate activity rather than the Weberian understanding of power as the ability to achieve desired outcomes. The framework captures a broad set of corporate acts based on their (potential) harm to human rights. It is argued that understanding business and human rights through the lens of power can help to advance a more comprehensive account of business impacts on human rights.

Year2020
JournalBusiness and Human Rights Journal
Journal citation6 (1), pp. 42-66
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/bhj.2020.23
Publication dates
Print23 Nov 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Sep 2021
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Accepted author manuscript
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Controlled
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