Monday, May 28, 2012

Announcing Publication of Article: "Party, People, Government And State: On Constitutional Values And The Legitimacy Of The Chinese State- Party Rule Of Law System"

I am happy to report that my article,  "Party, People, Government And State: On Constitutional Values And The Legitimacy Of The Chinese State- Party Rule Of Law System," Boston University International Law Journal 30:331-408 (2012).

(From Handbills From the Cultural Revolution 1966-1976 "Never Forget that the Chinese Communist Party
Emancipated Us! All Happiness Comes
From Chairman Mao!
")

My thanks to Kevin Kozlowski, 2011-2012 Editor-in-Chief at Boston University School of Law International Law Journal and the staff of the BU International Law Journal for an excellent job of seeing this article and an excellent volume through to publication.

 Kevin Edward Kozlowski

I have included here below the Table of Contents, the abstract and the introduction of "Party, People":

LASA Presentation: "Organizing Cuban Economic Enterprises in the Wake of the Lineamientos—Between Corporation, Cooperatives and Globalization"


The Latin American Studies Association Annual recently concluded its XXXth International Congress, Toward a Third Century of Independence in Latin America, held this year in San Francisco, California.  The Congress program may be accessed HERE.  Many of the papers produced for the Congress may be accessed HERE


For the Congress, I presented a paper: Organizing Cuban Economic Enterprises in the Wake of the Lineamientos—Between Corporation, Cooperatives and Globalization, the PowerPoint slides of which can be accessed here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Education to Meet the Labor Needs of Markets--Cuba Changes its Approach to University Education

I have suggested how the Cuban State was rethinking the way it supported university education. Backer, Larry Catá, 'Order, Discipline and Exigency': Cuba's VIth Party Congress, the Lineamientos (Guidelines) and Structural Change in Education, Sport and Culture? (July 1, 2011). Consortium for Peace and Ethics Working Paper No. 2011-2.The object was to change the focus of university education from ideology supporting humanities to income producing sciences, agricultural studies, and engineering.

The Lineamientos themselves marked a significant change in the way that the Cuban state apparatus and the Cuban Communist Party addressed the future needs of the State and Society within a refocused Marxist Leninist foundation.  See Larry Catá Backer,  Cuba's 6th Party Congress and the Lineamientos (Guidelines) For Structural Change In Cuba, Law at the End of the Day,  May 17, 2011.
 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Blog: Nicholas Roland on Legally Granting Entitivity, or Granting Personhood to Non-Persons

My colleague here at Penn State, Nicholas Rowland, an assistant professor of sociology resident at our Altoona, Pennsylvania campus. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, Department of Sociology focusing on the Sociology of Technology with a minor study in Cultural Studies. He is also a principal contributor to Installing (Social) Order, a blog on the sociology of infrastructure, exploring the sociotechnical nerves of contemporary society, originally formed as an informal work group of researchers at Bielefeld University's Department of Sociology.

(Pix courtesy Nicholas Rowland)
Rowland has been doing some vguest blogging on this site (see Guest Blog: Nicholas Rowland on "What are States Made of?").   He writes this time on Legally Granting Entitivity, or Granting Personhood to Non-Persons.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dermott Groome Opens Proceedings Against Ratko Mladic

My colleague Dermot Groome opened proceedings against Ratko Mladic after a long period of preparation.

("Ratko Mladic, right, the former Bosnian Serb military commander, at the start of his trial at The Hague on Wednesday."  Marelise Simons,  Former Bosnian Serb General Hears Indictment, and Insults, as Trial Opens, New York Times, May 16, 2012)

The New York Time nicely captured the first day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

John Sherman on the Professional Responsibility of Lawyers under the Guiding Principles

John Sherman, an expert on the new U.N. Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights has been a driving force in the efforts to apply human rights principles to the operations of lawyers and especially to infuse legal practice with the normative standards embodied in the Guiding Principles.


He has recently posted a great short essay on the subject for Shift, an independent, non-profit center for business and human rights practice, for which he serves as General Counsel, Senior Advisor and Secretary. John F. Sherman III, Professional Responsibility of Lawyers under the Guiding Principles, Shift, May 2012.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Podcast of Debate--Zumbansen and Backer: Tension Between Public and Private Governance in the Emerging Transnational Legal Order

The Robert Schuman Centre for advanced Studies of the European University Institute recently hosted a debate between Larry Catá Backer (Pennsylvania State University) and Peer Zumbansen (York University) on “Tension Between Public and Private Governance in the Emerging Transnational Legal Order,” April 16, 2012.

                                (Pix from David Morris, All Hail the Public Library, On the Commons, May 1, 2011)

The podcast of the debate is now available.  Listen to the debate HERE

Monday, May 07, 2012

Guest Blog: Nicholas Rowland on "What are States Made of?"


My colleague here at Penn State, Nicholas Rowland, an assistant professor of sociology resident at our Altoona, Pennsylvania campus. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, Department of Sociology focusing on the Sociology of Technology with a minor study in Cultural Studies. He is also a principal contributor to Installing (Social) Order, a blog on the sociology of infrastructure, exploring the sociotechnical nerves of contemporary society, originally formed as an informal work group of researchers at Bielefeld University's Department of Sociology.

(Pix courtesy Nicholas Rowland)

Rowland has been doing some excellent work looking closely at the state as object, force and event in social, political and economic spaces redefined by globalization.  He has graciously consented to writing guest blogs from time to time.  It is with great pleasure that I include the first of these here.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Human Rights Duty of States: IKEA, Cuba, and the Corporate Responsibility to Protect Human Rights

One of the thorniest issues of corporate social responsibility involves  the liability of corporate actors when they engage in activities that may have an adverse human rights impact under international social norms (so-called soft law adopted through internal corporate governance mechanisms) but which may not constitute a breach of the domestic law of the state where the activity occurs.  

(From Kate Connolly, IKEA faces allegations that it used Cuban prisoners to make its products, The Guardian, May 3, 2012)


Even if the corporation is implicit in the actions of the state, can the corporation be found to have violated its obligations under international norms when the state at whose instance the conduct occurred is not deemed to have violated either its domestic or international law obligations? IKEA has recently discovered the difficulties of a global order in which its global normative obligations may be substantially different than those of the states with whom it participated in activity. It may find itself complicit in acts legal when undertaken by a state within its borders but which are breaches of the corporations global human rights obligations elsewhere. In effect, the issue suggests outlines of that space where the obligations of corporations  to avoid  adverse impacts may be greater than those applicable to states.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Slide Presentation: On the Evolution of Multi-National Corporations: From the External Regulation of MNCs to Self-Governance

I recently had the chance to present a lecture on the evolution of the multinational corporation from object of law to autonomous regulatory entity.

 (Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2012)

The Powerpoint slides used for that discussion can be accessed HERE.

Boasteel and Corporate Social Responsibility on the Ground in China

My research assistant, Shing Kit Wong, has been researching corporate social responsibility on the ground in China.  He had the opportunity to visit China recently as part of graduate course offered by the Pennsylvania State University.  While there he had the opportunity to visit a number of Chinese firms, including Baosteel.



What follows are notes of his trip with a focus on Baosteel's CSR operations from the view of a visitor.


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

New Paper: Collisions of Societal Constitutions: Hierarchical Power Arrangements and Horizontal Effects in the Management of Human Rights Regimes

Just posted a new paper: Collisions of Societal Constitutions: Hierarchical Power Arrangements and Horizontal Effects in the Management of Human Rights Regimes.  

 (Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2012)


The initial version will be presented at   the international conference, Societal Constitutionalism and Globalization, hosted by the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law and the International University College, Torino, Italy, May 18, 2012. My thanks to Gunther Teubner (Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main) and Anna Beckers (Maastricht University) for organizing this excellent conference.