Call for Papers

Emerging-Market Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development


Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment

Columbia Law School – The Earth Institute

Columbia University


Deadline for Abstract Submission: August 3, 2012

Date of Approval Notice: September 10, 2012

Deadline for Submitting Paper: January 11, 2013


The Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, announces a call for papers on Emerging-Market Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development.


Multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging markets (EM) are a growing force in the global economy. In 2010, outward foreign direct investment (FDI) from developing and transition economies reached USD388 billion, amounting to 29 percent of global FDI outflows.[1] Driven in particular by the resources and policies of the BRIC states, emerging-market MNEs are expected to increase their presence abroad. This investment by emerging-market MNEs presents many opportunities and challenges for sustainable development of host and home countries.


The call for papers seeks to deepen research, analysis and discussion of those opportunities and challenges. We therefore call for original papers that examine the environmental, social and economic effects of foreign investment by emerging-market MNEs and how home-state and international institutions (i.e., formal laws, regulations, and policies, and informal mechanisms and relationships) impact those effects. We are also interested in research that explores the existence of, and factors behind, commonalities and differences between traditional MNEs (from developed markets) and emerging-market MNEs in terms of their impacts on sustainable development in host countries.


More specifically, but not exhaustively, we encourage discussions on the following topics:

o    Comparative analysis/case studies of the policies and practices of EM home-state institutions that are relevant to their MNEs’ impacts on sustainable development:

§  What are the BRIC country policies influencing performance of their MNEs abroad on issues of sustainable development? What are commonalities/differences between them? What about other developing countries and emerging markets?

§  What have been the drivers for change?

§  What are the challenges for these EM home countries in designing/implementing these policies?

§  How does EM MNEs’ performance on sustainable investment impact their home countries?  

o    Role of the home state in EM MNEs' behaviors abroad - what is unique?

§  Are EM governments more active than developed countries (now and/or historically) in terms of their direct involvement in/support of (a) state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and (b) private enterprises?

§  How direct is the link between EM home country support of/involvement in their MNEs and the MNEs’ impacts on sustainable development in the host country?

o    What is/can be the role of international institutions in improving performance of EM MNEs on issues of sustainable development?

o    Is this role different for EM MNEs than it is for traditional MNEs, and why?

We expect to publish the selected papers in a special issue journal and/or a book volume in mid 2013. The VCC has previously published selected papers in collaboration with the UNCTAD Transnational Corporations (TNC) Journal, and Oxford University Press, amongst others. We are also exploring the possibility of organizing a conference at Columbia University in early 2013, giving contributors of selected papers an opportunity to present and discuss their work.


The deadline for submitting the abstract for the papers is August 3, 2012. The notification of acceptance will be sent by September 10, 2012. The deadline for submitting the papers will be on January 11, 2013.




Lise Johnson ([log in to unmask])

Lead Investment Law and Policy Researcher


Victor Zitian Chen ([log in to unmask])

Global Coordinator and Editor, Emerging Market Global Players (EMPG) Project


Valentina Bratu ([log in to unmask])

Manager and Editor, Emerging Market Global Players (EMPG) Project


Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment

Columbia Law School - Earth Institute

Columbia University

435 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

Phone: (212) 854-0638


EMGP Website:

[1] Source: UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2011: Non-Equity Modes of International Production and Development.

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