*Call for Papers*


*Human Rights and the Multinational Enterprise*

*University of Pisa*

*4-5 February 2016*


The 2015 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and the 2011 UN
Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are among the latest
initiatives that aim to promote the human rights agenda in the business
sector. These UN initiatives add to a number of other ‘soft-law’
interventions designed to reduce corporate wrongdoing (e.g. OECD

The rising awareness and expectations regarding corporate human rights
conduct poses new and important challenges to MNEs operating in multiple
environments with varying legitimacy standards, and dealing with human
rights is rapidly becoming the new frontier of corporate social
responsibility (CSR). Still, multinationals adopt very diverse approaches
and strategies to cope with human rights issues. MNEs progressively speak
the human rights language and human rights issues are becoming central to
MNEs’ CSR agenda. At the same time, infringements on human rights by large
MNEs remain prevalent. This has been the case, among many others, of the
Apple-Foxconn labor rights scandal denounced in the New York Times in 2012,
the infringement of the rights of indigenous communities by the Brazilian
mining multinational, Vale, in connection to the Belo Horizonte Dam
project, and more recently of the emission pollution scandal involving the
Volkswagen group.

These contrasting conducts are still poorly understood, and call for a
deeper investigation into how MNEs deal with human rights when designing
their strategies, operations and organization in multiple institutional,
cultural and legal environments, as well as on the drivers of MNEs’ human
right conduct and on the effects of such a conduct on corporate
competitiveness. While there is a lively and established debate on business
and human rights in international law, political science and business
ethics, we still lack a full understanding of MNEs’ human rights conduct in
connection with traditional international management and international
business issues.

The workshop intends to bridge this gap and aims at promoting a human
rights research agenda in international management and international
business. The call for papers solicits both theoretical and empirical
contributions, which draw on different research streams and disciplines,
including international management, international business, business
ethics, international law, political science and business and human rights.
Methodologically, we welcome qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method
research approaches.

*Topics of interest include (but are not limited to): *

-        *The role of expatriates and inpatriates in promoting the cause of
human rights in foreign subsidiaries*.

-      *Embedding human rights in corporate culture*.

-        *Liability of foreignness, Liability of origin and human rights*.

-        *MNEs’ human rights conduct and transfer of good human rights
practices within the multinational network*.

-        *CSR and human rights*.

-        *Differentials in human rights conduct across different types of

-        *MNE’s human rights conduct across different institutional

-        *Market competition and human rights*.

-        *Effects of infringements of human rights*.

-        *Political and sub-political activity and strategies of MNEs in
relation to human rights*.

-        *Implications of current business and human rights policy debates
for multinational business.*

-        *Empirical research on the uptake and impact of the UN Guiding

-        *Measuring business and human rights; assessing business and human
rights infringements through quantitative analyses. *

-        *Human rights, social and environmental upgrading in Global Value
Chains. *

*Confirmed Keynote Speakers *

*Ans Kolk* (University of Amsterdam Business School, the Netherlands)

*Florian Wettstein* (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)

*Flaviano Bianchini (*Source International, Italy)


Scholars who wish to present a paper at the workshop are invited to submit
an *extended abstract* not exceeding 2,500 words *via the workshop website* *no
later than* *30th November 2015*. Authors will be notified of the outcome
of the selection process by *December 5th 2015*. Scholars whose abstracts
have been accepted are expected to submit a *full paper* no later than *20th
January* 2016.

The *Journal of World Business* will announce a call for papers later this
fall for a special issue on this topic to be edited by members of the
scientific committee.  With this workshop the scientific committee intends
to stimulate interest in the special issue, spark intellectual exchange on
the topic, and provide feedback to prospective authors who may consider
submitting to the special issue.


There are no conference fees. Participants should register via the
conference website no later than *10th January 2016 via the workshop

*Scientific Committee*

·       *Elisa Giuliani*, University of Pisa, Italy ([log in to unmask])

·       *Grazia D. Santangelo*, University of Catania, Italy (
[log in to unmask])

·       *Florian Wettstein*, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland (
[log in to unmask])

*Other info*

*Sponsoring Institution: *University of Pisa “Progetti di Ricerca di
Ateneo” (PRA) Grant PRA_2015_0082.

*Workshop Website: *

*For any information please contact:*  [log in to unmask]

Professor Grazia Santangelo
Jean Monnet Chair International Business for European Union (IB4EU)
Department of Political and Social Science
University of Catania
Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 8
95131 Catania


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