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date: 24 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the concept of corporate ‘accountability’, that is, the supervision and regulation of corporate activities rendering these entities responsive to a range of stakeholders, from employees to the international community. It suggests that there may be a more harmonious means of remedying corporate accountability concerns in a globalized economy than via ‘mandate creep’ in the trade law regime. This analysis discusses conventional understandings of corporate law and its corporate social responsibility critique. It offers a basic political economy of corporate social responsibility, juxtaposing application of the concept in underdeveloped legal systems with the situation existing in more robust legal systems. This article then examines corporate accountability from the optic of international trade law. It looks at the relevance of conventional trade law tools as a means of inducing corporate accountability. It then proposes a number of speculative multilateral alternatives.

Keywords: corporate accountability, globalized economy, multilateral alternatives, international trade law, conventional trade law

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