Monday, March 08, 2010

Conference: Transnationalismus in Recht, Staat und Gesellschaft

I wanted to report on an excellent conference recently held at the University of Bremen,  Germany:  Transnationalismus in Recht, Staat und Gesellschaft.  The focus of the conference was the transnational organizations, and their relationship to law, governance and that ubiquitous sometimes "higher" body corporate--the state.  The plenary papers will be published in the Indiana Journal fo Global Legal Studies, under the able direction of Faculty Editor Professor Fred Aman.  

I include below the conference statement and the program.  I encourage those interested to contact people directly for copies fo papers presented that may be of interest. 

Transnational Organizations – Nation States under Pressure?
Projektleiter A4
Internationales Handelsrecht
Universität Bremen

Organizations are unions of persons (associations, corporations) or accumulations of assets (foundations) with a certain goal. As a legal person they enjoy legal independence from their initiators (members, owners, founders). Thus, they are able to hold rights and accept obligations. Transnational Organizations are non-state (societal) organizations, which members or owners differ in their nationalities and/or which assets are located on the territory of different nation states and which (thus) pursuit cross-border economic or non-economic activities. The most prominent examples are transnational corporations, which stake-holders are of many different nationalities and/or which are engaged in cross-border economic activity and consequently hold assets – e.g. in the form of foreign affiliates – in a given number of other nation states. Further examples are scientific or professional unions with an international membership, a variety of NGOs involved in cross-border issues, or foundations which engage in world-wide activities like the fighting of diseases (Gates foundation) or the technical administration of the internet (ICANN).

Transnational Organizations are not a new phenomenon. Some of them, as the Catholic Church, have played an important role for the better part of the history of modern mankind. However, it was not before the end of World War II that transnational organizations spread to an extent capable to significantly affect societal matters. Especially the extension of economic activities across national borders in terms of transnational corporations has been growing since this time and is still accelerating. The dramatic rise of the importance of non-state actors as compared to the nation states has provoked some commentators to sing the swan song for the latter as an anachronistic entity not fit for the challenges of modern times. Even if most scholars have not joined this choir, transnational organizations have been of major scientific interest ever since the 1960s. Whereas early pioneers like Stephen Hymer concentrated on the mechanisms and organization of multinational corporations, other authors emphasized the feedback on the nation state. In the early 1970s, authors like Raymond Vernon with his book “Sovereignty at Bay: the multinational spread of U.S. enterprises” or Samuel P. Huntington with his seminal article on “Transnational Organizations and World Politics” were at the edge of time raising the question of the fundamental relationship between nation states and transnational organizations. Also in Germany, as exemplified by the work of Bernhard Großfeld, the legal problems connected with multinational corporations were a subject of discussion.

So why treat a subject already discussed in the 1970s? The internationalization and/or privatization of responsibilities formerly ascribed to the nation state are affecting the role of transnational organizations in today’s globalized society. We witness an era with more, bigger, and more influential transnational organizations than ever before. This growing importance of transnational organizations provokes further research on their impact on society and their relation to the nation states.

As legal persons, transnational organizations are fictitious entities which legal status needs to be created by legitimate power. So far, it has been common sense that all organizations – except for the nation state itself, the existence of which can be described as a paradox – can reach their independent status by recognition in national legal systems only. However, this classical form of legitimization seems to be at odds with the balance of powers between transnational actors and the nation states in reality. Be it a leading transnational corporation (TNC) which generates larger total annual sales than the GNP of mid-sized industrial nation states. Be it the Gates Foundation, which budget is larger than the Swiss foreign aid budget. Be it the Catholic Church, which has moral influence on more than a billion believers. Transnational Organizations have dimensions which often rival or even exceed the dimension of nation states. Furthermore, transnational organizations gain authority by engaging in activities formerly reserved to nation states. Even though transnational organizations cannot meet the classical Jellinekian preconditions of a territory, a people, and sovereignty, they do provide other, more soft normative goods like healthcare or legal protection formerly organized by the nation state only. Bearing in mind that Jellinek’s “Allgemeine Staatslehre” (General Theory of the State) dates from 1900, it is about time to reconsider if modern redistributions of formerly exclusive state functions have not had any impact on the common definition of what we consider to be a state. It is highly questionable if global players like transnational organizations are de facto still dependent on the recognition by the old nation states. Would a TNC from the Forbes Global 2000 list cease to exist if its home state did not recognize it any more? Would the Gates Foundation find no other means to pursuit their goals if the USA decided to no further host the foundation? This raises the question if or to what extent transnational organizations might have outgrown the limits set by the legal framework of the nation states.

In addition to the theoretical considerations about the relation of transnational organizations to the nation states, dozens of practical conflicts arise. Taxation, competition policy, or environmental regulation are only some prominent examples. Recent calls of the UNO, the OECD, and even the G8 for Corporate Social Responsibility give ample evidence of the role, transnational corporations are ascribed with in global governance. By and large, the topic of transnational organizations provides a vast field for different scientific approaches of both theoretical and practical nature.


The Conference program follows:

Final Program
Transnationalismus in Recht, Staat und Gesellschaft

Bremen, 3. – 5. März 2010
Haus der Wissenschaft
Sandstraße 4/5, 28195 Bremen
Tagungsbüro: 0151 17903246

Wissenschaftliches Komitee:
Marc Amstutz (Fribourg, CH), Kai Bussmann (Halle), Gralf-Peter Calliess (Bremen), Matthias Mahlmann (Zürich), Peer Zumbansen (Osgoode, Toronto)

Organisationskomitee Bremen:
Insa Buchmann, Gralf-Peter Calliess, Hermann Hoffmann, Andreas Maurer, Jens Mertens, Mauro Zamboni

Mit freundlicher Unterstützung durch: Bundesministerium der Justice, DeKomte, and Nolting-Hauff Stiftung


Mittwoch, 3. März 2010 Transnational Corporations I (in Englisch)
Plenarsitzung Vorsitz: Peer Zumbansen, Osgoode Hall, Toronto
13:30 Begrüßung: Stephan Leibfried, Sprecher des SFB 597
Felix Herzog, Dekan des FB Rechtswissenschaft

13:40– 14:00 Uhr Transnational Organizations – Introduction
Gralf-Peter Calliess, Universität Bremen

14:00 – 15:30 Uhr Self-Constitutionalizing TNCs? On the Linkage of "Private" and "Public" Corporate Codes of Conduct
Gunther Teubner, Universität Frankfurt am Main

15:30 – 16:00 Uhr Kaffeepause

16:00 – 17:15 Uhr The Co-evolution of Transnational Corporations and Institutions
Sarianna Lundan, Maastricht University

17:15 – 18:30 Uhr The Changing Face of Transnational Business Governance: Private Corporate Law Liability and Accountability of Transnational Groups in a Post-Financial Crisis World
Peter Muchlinski, University of London

Mittwoch, 3. März 2010 Abendprogramm
19:00 Uhr Senatsempfang im Bremer Rathaus
Grußwort: Matthias Stauch, Staatsrat für Justiz und Verfassung Grußwort: Wilfried Müller, Rektor der Universität Bremen

Festrede: Rechtssoziologie in Deutschland
Thomas Raiser, Humboldt Universität Berlin

Donnerstag, 4. März 2010 Transnational Corporations II (in Englisch)
Plenarsitzung Vorsitz: Alfred C. Aman Jr., Indiana University Maurer School of Law
9:00 – 10:15 Uhr Transnational Corporations & Regulatory Competition
Horst Eidenmüller, LMU München

10:15 – 11:30 Uhr Private Governance, Soft Law, and the Construction of Polycentric Networks for the Regulation of Transnational Corporations
Larry Catá Backer, PennState, Dickinson School of Law

11:30 – 12:00 Uhr Kaffeepause
12:00 – 13:00 Uhr Transnational Corporations as Steering Subjects in International Economic Law: Two Competing Visions of the Future?
Karsten Nowrot, Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Donnerstag, 4. März 2010 Mittagessen
13:00 – 14:30 Uhr Ständige Vertretung, Böttcherstraße 3

Donnerstag, 4. März 2010 14:30-18:00 Uhr Parallelsitzungen 1-3
Parallele Sitzung 1 Transnationales Verwaltungsrecht
Vorsitz: Andreas Fischer-Lescano, Universität Bremen

14:30 – 15:15 Uhr Netzwerke im transnationalen Verwaltungsverbund
Claudio Franzius, Freie Universität Berlin

15:15 – 16:00 Uhr Legitimationsfragen transnationaler Verwaltung
Stefan Oeter, Universität Hamburg

16:00 – 16:30 Uhr Kaffeepause

16:30 – 17:15 Uhr Was ist öffentlich am transnationalen Verwaltungsrecht?
Nico Krisch, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin

17:15 – 18:00 Uhr Emergenz des allgemeinen Teils des transnationalen Verwaltungsrechts
Karl-Heinz Ladeur, Universität Hamburg

Parallele Sitzung 2 Corporate Social Responsibility in a Globalizing World I (in Englisch)
Vorsitz: Martin Herberg und Mauro Zamboni, SFB 597 Bremen

14:30 – 14:35 Uhr Introduction
Martin Herberg, SFB 597 Bremen

14:35 – 15:20 Uhr Transnational Normbuilding and Social Justice in Global Labour Relations
Ulrich Mückenberger, Universität Hamburg

15:20 – 16:05 Uhr Corporate Social Responsibility and the Politicization of the (Multinational) Corporation
Guido Palazzo, Universität Lausanne

16:00 – 16:30 Uhr Kaffeepause

16:30 – 17:15 Uhr CSR and Transnational Public Private Partnerships: Institutionalization as a Condition for Success?
Marianne Beisheim, SFB 700 Berlin

17:15 – 18:00 Uhr The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility
Marc Amstutz, Universität Fribourg

Parallele Sitzung 3 Transnationale Korruptionsbekämpfung
Vorsitz: Kai Bussmann, Universität Halle-Wittenberg

14.30 – 15.15 Uhr Die Bedeutung der Kultur im internationalen Kampf gegen Korruption
Kai-D. Bussmann, Universität Halle-Wittenberg

15.15 – 16.00 Uhr Kriminalprävention: Unternehmensethik und Landeskultur
Daniela Trunk, Universität Halle-Wittenberg

16.00 – 16.30 Uhr Kaffeepause

16.30 – 17.15 Uhr Demokratie und Korruption: Welchen Schutz bieten Werte und Institutionen?
Susanne Karstedt, Keele University

17:15 – 18:00 Uhr Whistleblowing-Systeme – kriminologische Analysen zu Funktionsbedingungen und -grenzen
Ralf Kölbel, Universität Bielefeld

Donnerstag, 4. März 2010 Mitgliederversammlung
18.00 – 19:30 Uhr Mitgliederversammlung der Vereinigung für Rechtssoziologie

Donnerstag, 4. März 2010 Abendprogramm
20:00 Uhr Abendessen im Ratskeller, Rathaus Bremen
Verleihung des Preis für Recht und Gesellschaft 2010 der Christa-Hoffmann-Riem-Stiftung an
Arno Scherzberg, Universität Erfurt

Laudatio: Peer Zumbansen, Osgood Hall, Toronto

Freitag, 5. März 2010 9:00 – 12:30 Uhr Parallelsitzungen 4-6
Parallele Sitzung 4 Transnational Financial Markets Regulation (in Englisch)
Vorsitz: Lars Klöhn, Universität Marburg

9:00 – 9:45 Uhr Global Finance – A Comparative Perspective
Katharina Pistor, Columbia Law School

9:45 – 10:30 Uhr Soft Law and European Securities Regulation
Thomas M.J. Möllers, Universität Augsburg

10:30 – 11:00 Uhr Kaffeepause

11:00 – 11:45 Uhr Concepts of Supervisory Legislation and Enforcement in European Capital Markets – Rule based versus Principles based Approach
Rüdiger Veil, Bucerius Law School Hamburg

11:45 – 12:30 Uhr Transnational Hedge Fund Regulation
Andreas Engert, LMU München

Parallele Sitzung 5 Corporate Social Responsibility in a Globalizing World II
(in Englisch und Deutsch)
Vorsitz: Martin Herberg und Mauro Zamboni, SFB 597 Bremen

9.00 – 9.45 Uhr Socially Responsible Investment in Germany– just a fashion from abroad or caused by profound institutional changes?
Stefanie Hiß, Universität Bamberg

9.45 – 10:30 Uhr CSR in the case of China – Understanding labour policies of Multinational Enterprises and their Suppliers
Klaus Ruth und Eileen Lübcke, Universität Bremen

10:30 – 11:00 Uhr Kaffeepause

11:00 – 11:45 Uhr Social Responsibility vs. Law Enforcement
Eva Kocher, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder

11:45 – 12:30 Uhr Final Discussion

Parallele Sitzung 6 Migration Control and Politics in the Process of Transnationalisation (in Englisch)
Vorsitz: Felix Herzog, Universität Bremen

9:15 – 10:15 Uhr Citizenship and Detention: Identity, Exclusion and Social Control
Mary Bosworth, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

10:15 – 11:15 Uhr European Migration Control Politics in the Process of Transnationalisation
Sonja Buckel, Institute of Social Research, Frankfurt

11:15 – 11:30 Uhr Kaffeepause

11:30 – 12:30 Uhr Social Security of Legal and Illegalized Transnational Migrants – Standards and Reality
Anuscheh Farahat, Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law, Heidelberg

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