Ethics and Global Politics 3 (4):303-324 (2010)

Abstract
The global justice movement has often been associated with opposition to the broad programme of ‘neoliberalism’ and associated patterns of ‘corporate globalisation’, creating a widespread impression that this movement is opposed to liberalism more broadly conceived. Our goal in this article is to challenge this widespread view. By engaging in critical interpretive analysis of the contemporary ‘corporate accountability’ movement, we argue that the corporate accountability agenda is not opposed to the core values of a liberal project. Rather, it is seeking to reconfigure the design of liberal institutions of individual rights-protection, adjusting these for new material conditions associated with economic globalisation, under which powerful corporations alongside states now pose direct and significant threats to individual rights. This activist agenda is, therefore, much less radical in its challenge to the prevailing liberal global order than it may initially appear, since it functions to buttress rather than corrode many core normative commitments underpinning the liberal political project.Keywords: liberalism; corporate accountability; business regulation; human rights; global justice movement.
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DOI 10.3402/egp.v3i4.5751
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