Corporate Accountability for Gross Human Rights Violations: Actors, Visions, Strategies
25-26 May 2023, National University of Political Science and Public Administration, Bucharest
In the past ten years an increasing number of NGOs, trade unions, grassroots communities, data scientists, whistleblowers, investigative journalists, principled-issue networks, university-based research hubs or “labs,” and other civil society actors have started to develop strategies to hold economic actors accountable for their direct involvement or complicity in gross human rights violations across the globe. These actors have been instrumental in putting on the national and international agendas the need for sanctioning multinational and transnational corporations and domestic companies implicated in massive infringement of human rights, ranging from genocide and war crimes, to torture and forced labor, and to extreme environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the academic literature on corporate accountability has paid too little attention to the variety of actors involved in these efforts, with their diverse repertoires of action and their different visions for human rights, economic globalization and development.
This international conference aims to fill this gap by exploring the role of national civil societies and transnational advocacy networks in the struggle for corporate accountability. We argue that in order to understand what happens in this emergent field of activism, it is necessary to profile the agents that shape this field and to connect their visions of corporate liability to their professional and regional backgrounds, as well as their political goals. Participants are invited to reflect on a variety of actors and networks seeking justice across the world, and the ways their strategies are informed by different national and regional contexts, and diverse ideological and professional understandings of accountability processes. The conference is open to research on this large spectrum of actors and their repertoires of actions, including, but not limited to, advocacy for regional and international treaties, criminal and civil litigations, boycotts, divestment campaigns, truth commissions, formal declarations, whistleblowing, shadow accounting, shareholder activism, developing social disclosure standards, physical occupation of assets and other forms of direct action.
We encourage proposals on the following topics, but other, non-listed themes are welcome:
- How do different actors around the globe mobilize for corporate accountability, what repertoires do they adopt, whom do they address, and with what results?
- How do different local, national, regional, transnational and/or trans-local contexts, with their diverse political, socio-economic and cultural diversity affect strategies of corporate accountability?
- How do different visions of human rights, democratization, development, and economic globalization impact strategies of and/or organizational alliances for corporate accountability?
- To what extent do professional interests and competition for funding affect and fragment actors’ particular agendas for corporate accountability, their repertoires of action, and/or their choices to pursue (or not) certain legal or movement campaign strategies?
- What is the interplay between national and transnational mobilizations of advocacy groups?
Please submit your proposal including authors’ names, email addresses and affiliations, a short CV and an abstract of around 300 words by 25 January 2023. The conference organizers will provide a response to the proposals by 30 January 2023. Selected participants will be invited to submit their papers (max. 7,000 words including tables, figures, and references) by 10th May, 2023. Papers presented at this conference will be considered for publication (in English) in a special issue of an international academic journal or an edited volume at a prestigious university press. Please, submit paper abstracts to: email@example.com For additional information, please contact Raluca Grosescu (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.
This conference is organized by the National University of Political Science and Public Administration (Bucharest) in collaboration with the Movement Engaged Research Hub (George Mason University, US), as part of the ERC-Consolidator project Transnational Advocacy Networks and Corporate Accountability for Major International Crimes. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 101002993 — CORPACCOUNT) and it is implemented by the National University of Political Science and Public Administration (Bucharest).