Friday, February 20, 2015

Part 2 (The Cage of Ideology)--On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)


This Blog Essay site devotes every February to a series of integrated but short essays on a single theme. For 2015 this site introduces a new theme: On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory.

This Post includes Part 2, The Cage of Ideology--The History of the General Program and the Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party

With thanks to San Gao (Penn State Law SJD expected) who researched and prepared much that follows.

Table of Contents


Monday, February 16, 2015

Part I (Theoretical Foundations)--On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory




(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)


This Blog Essay site devotes every February to a series of integrated but short essays on a single theme. For 2015 this site introduces a new theme: On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory.

This Post includes Part I, Theoretical Foundations: The General Program in the Chinese Constitutional Complex

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Introduction: On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

This Blog Essay site devotes every February to a series of integrated but short essays on a single theme. For 2015 this site introduces a new theme: On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory.

This Post includes an (1) Introduction to this project, a (2) Table of Contents, the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party Constitution, and a (4) short description and list (with links) of themes from prior series.

Table of Contents

--Introduction
--Part I: Theoretical Foundations: The General Program in the Chinese Constitutional Complex.
--Part 2: The Cage of Ideology: History of the General Program and the Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party.
--Part 3: 


Sunday, February 08, 2015

Teaching About the Legal and Societal Obligations of Enterprises--Some Video Resources

(Pix (c) Larry catá Backer 2015)


Sometimes videos serve as a more useful means of introducing a subject or provoking discussion than lots and lots of words (though those inevitably follow). For those interested using video as an entry point for discussing the issues around the activities of business that touch on human rights or the societal responsibilities of business (and perhaps the political obligations of the states that ought to manage these behaviors), with no judgment or endorsement of the politics of these suggestions except as entry point for discussion and analysis the following is offered:

From the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre: Annual Legal Accountability Annual Briefing


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

The folks at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre have recently announced the distribution of their Corporate Legal Accountability Annual Briefing.  There are many useful resources and insights worth considering.  One might also reference the Centre’s Corporate Legal Accountability Portal (case profiles on over 100 lawsuits in all parts of the world, with expert commentary). 

The announcement follows with links.  The most interesting portions of the report consider what the BHRRC considers to be a narrowing of extraterritoriality application by home states.  I have tended to view that as a positive development, though it might not appear so to civil society actors taking a short term view of governance developments (from the Executive Summary: e.g., "The ability to hold a company legally accountable for human rights abuses, somewhere in the world, is the lynchpin to encourage business to respect human rights" pp. 2). My sense is that the lynchpin lies elsewhere (see HERE).   But what is suggested as a narrowing of extraterritoriality might merely mean a shift of locus of suit. More troubling are the increased harassment of human rights workers by multinational enterprises strategically using the legal system for potentially unethical ends.  The root of the strategy is grounded in an effort to exploit power and financial disparities to increase the transaction costs of monitoring enterprises.  It is here that there is a role for states, one they are unlikely to embrace.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

New Paper Posted: Corporate Social Responsibility in Weak Governance Zones

Santa Clara University, its Center for Global Law and Policy and the Journal of International Law at Santa Clara University School of Law is hosting a  symposium  on "Critical Global Business Issues: When Theory Meets Practice". The event, to be held 6-7 February, 2015 will focus on critical legal issues affecting companies doing business globally. See here.


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

For that Symposium I will be presenting a paper entitled, Corporate Social Responsibility in Weak Governance Zones.

The abstract follows.
The POWERPOINT may be accessed HERE
The paper may be accessed HERE.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

On line symposium: Business and Human Rights: Next Steps--With a Focus on John Ruggie's Responsive Commentary--"Life in the Global Public Domain"



(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

Professor James Stewart, of the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia, has produced a valuable on line symposium: Business and Human Rights: Next Steps.  Its genesis is John Ruggie's closing remarks delivered at the close of the 3rd Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Geneva 2-3 December 2014.  Professor Ruggie's remarks (and my brief comments) may be accessed HERE). A number of well respected academics doing excellent work in the field were asked to comment around Professor's Ruggie's remarks.  And Professor Ruggie  then provided a response to the commentaries. 

The most interesting aspect of the on line symposium is its evidence of the ways in which academic opinions are hardening and several schools of "the future of law" are emerging.   The right wing of this debate is populated with statists--those academics still deeply invested in the Westphalian system, and its elaboration of a system founded on the distinction between legitimate systems of command (law produced by or through states) and everything else.  On the left are an assortment of anti-statist academics who tend to see either the decline or the irrelevance of the state (to differing degrees),  and the emergence of transnational governance orders in which governance is tending toward centralization in some global order.  In the middle are a small group of academic theorists who see value and resilience in the state but understand that the ideological pretensions of the Westphalian system have become unrealistic in a world now ordered through governance frameworks of a number of actors only some of which are states. Leftists and rightists tend to be ideologues; they see the world through the constricting structures of their belief systems.  Centrists tend to be pragmatists, they seek truth from facts and build  theories of systems and their structures around the realities of their practices.

John Ruggie's principled pragmatism tends to be a lightening rod for leftists and rightists, yet they offer a solid foundation for both the ideologies of left and right, and a basis for the realities of the emerging governance orders.  And that is very much in evidence in the symposium, especially the discussions of polycentricity, and the role of treaty law in the emerging governance orders.  To a great degree, the commentaries and Professor Ruggie's responses provide a great coming together of these quite distinct perspectives.  The result is both illuminating, and to some extent suggestive of the difficulties of communication in a context where consensus views are still very much in transition.

 This post includes the Symposium Concept Note authored by Professor Stewart, a list of the contributions (with links to their texts where available), and the text of Professor Ruggie's excellent responsive commentary: Life in the Global Public Domain: Response to Commentaries on the UN Guiding Principles and the Proposed Treaty on Business and Human Rights.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Change Comes to the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund Global

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)



I have been writing about the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund (the Government Pension Fund Global) (See here and here and here). I have been intrigued by the Norwegian state's efforts to leverage their public power through private market interventions. As well I have suggested the potential power of the Fund's ethical mandate structures for transposing international norms into state policy and market's disciplined social norms. (See Here).

But change appears to have come to Norway.  This post considers some of the more important aspects of these changes, and provides links to the latest set of recommendations for exclusion from the Government Pension Fund investment universe.