Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Ideological Basis of a Comprehensive Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Choosing Among Status Quo, Evolutive and Transformative Visions


(Pix © Larry Catá Bacer 2016)


I have been considering the ideological foundations of the comprehensive treaty for business and human rights, the elaboration of which is the principal task of the U.N. appointed  Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises (IGWG) (Revealing Ideologies for a Comprehensive Treaty for Business and Human Rights).  The context is the broader conceptual issue of treaty elaboration in general--and more specifically on the relationship between principle and pragmatism in the conceptualization, drafting and interpretation of treaties (see Can Pragmatism Be Principled? With Application to the Elaboration to Comprehensive Treaty for Business and Human Rights).  

What has become clear is that the Mandate of the IGWG does no so much express a single set of restructuring principles for the elaboration of a comprehensive treaty so much as it  appears to invite the elaboration of such principles in the course of elaborating a treaty.  That is, form the perspective of the sort of careful work required so so complex a project either an invitation to build a monster from out of whatever mismatched parts various stakeholder groups with power can live with or use strategically (according to their calculus).  Or it will require the elaboration of a set of coherence reinforcing structuring principles as a preliminary to the elaboration of the treaty provisions that will serve to give these principles effect

But the mandate also constrains the choices among the universe of structuring principles that might be embraced in the treaty draft process. This post considers the three likely competing ideologies that will produce three distinct sets of structuring principles for the elaboration of the comprehensive treaty.  Together they suggest the possibilities if three radically different elaborations of a treaty for business and human rights. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

No.166-2 许小亮 : 朝向敌人本身; No.166-2 Xu Xiaoliang: toward the enemy itself

 

This is another in the series of essays that were presented at the “来华外国人与近代中国法” 国际学术研讨会 "Foreigners and Modern Chinese Law" International Symposium Conference 


No.166-2  许小亮 : 朝向敌人本身;  Xu Xiaoliang: toward the enemy itself.

The essay considers the meaning of the enemy in China. It adds another perspective first raised in No. 166-1. Both are worth reading together.

The essay was posted to  叁會學坊, the San Hui Fang Workshops microblog and it follows below 中国语文 only.


No.166-1 周林刚 : 敌人与现代政治; Zhou Lingang: Enemies in Modern Politics






This is another in the series of essays that were presented at the “来华外国人与近代中国法” 国际学术研讨会 "Foreigners and Modern Chinese Law" International Symposium Conference

No.166-1 周林刚 : 敌人与现代政治; Zhou Lingang: Enemies in Modern Politics.

The essay considers the meaning of the enemy in the context of Chinese thought. 

The essay was posted to 叁會學坊, the San Hui Fang Workshops microblog and it follows below 中国语文 only.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Principled Pragmatism in the Elaboration of a Comprehensive Treaty on Business and Human Rights



“It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.” (M. Shelley, Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (Lackington Hugh Harding Mayor & Jones, 1818); ch. 5.)
 
It has been with this image firmly in mind that I have approached the quite challenging and interesting issues around which the elaboration of a Comprehensive Treaty for Business and Human Rights will be undertaken. It is in search of a set of framing principles for this enterprise--in the Mandate of the Intergovernmental Working Group charged with treaty elaboration, or elsewhere--with which I have been wrestling.  Conceptually the problem posed, and the answer suggested are central to every effort to frame a coherent treaty and to make it effective with a strong fidelity to its framework principles. 
 
The revised paper--Pragmatism Without Principle?-- just posted for review and comment  is meant to move in that direction. The abstract follows.  The paper may be accessed through this LINK.

Roundtable: "On the Role of Foreign Scholars in the Study of Chinese Law"



It is my great delight to have been asked to participate in an upcoming Roundtable: The Role of Foreign Scholars in the Study of Chinese Law.  It is sponsored by the Confucius Institute, the Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale and the Instituto Confucio Napoli.  Participants include Giuseppe Cataldi, Zhu Shaomingf, and Flora Sapio, and moderated by Paola Paderni

My discussion will draw on my remarks recently delivered at Tsinghua University.  

PowerPoints may be accessed HERE.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Part 12 (The Social Self as a reflection/result of one's ancestors: Acts of Appropriation and Foundations of Cultural Appropriation in the West)--Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual: The Social Self


(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2016)


Flora Sapio (FS), Beitita Horm Pepulim (BHP), and I (LCB) continue our experiment in collaborative dialogue. We move from the individual to the social self as we work toward a philosophy of the individual. While at first blush this appears to be well worn ground--who hasn't, over the course of the last 5,000 years, in every civilization with a recorded history NOT spent vast amounts of time thinking about the social self? But much of this thinking starts at the social and works through the issues of control, management and socialization of the individual. That is, they start from the core premise that the individual is the object of a project for which the social serves as an instrument and as an ends. In the spirit of the emerging philosophy of the individual, we propose to invert the conversation--to start with the individual and work through the issues of control, management, and individuation of the social.

But we move from the individual in herself, to the individual as subject and as symbol, as something which, when observed and transformed from itself to the idea or symbol of itself, assumes a quite distinct, and useful, position for the organization of selves--and for the structure and operation of the law of the social. To that end our conversation will likely flow around and through the following:

1--the social self as the reflection of the mother
2--the social self as a reflection of the family
3--social self as a reflection/result of one's ancestors
4--the social self as a reflection of God
5-the social self as a refection of the state
6--the social self as terrorist
7--the social self as orthodox
This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged.

In this post Larry Catá Backer (LCB) reflects on Flora Sapio's arguments about the Divine and from that begins to consider the issue  as a reflection/result of one's ancestors responds to earlier comments.

文:白轲 对周瑞金《反思文革万言书》的“反思” 翻译:高山 Reflections on Zhou Ruijin, "Reflections on the Cultural Revolution: A Ten Thousand Character Petition.


 By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30522776

This Post includes the Chinese translation of Larry Catá Backer's reflections on Zhou Ruijin, "Reflections on the Cultural Revolution: A Ten Thousand Character Petition." It is part of a group of reflections on Zhou Ruijin's provocative essay. English version HERE.

Larry Catá Backer

此职位包括 文:白轲 对周瑞金《反思文革万言书》的“反思”   中国语文 版  翻译:高山