This book is a fantastic insight in the controversial issue regarding the regulation of multinational companies and human right.
As John Ruggie was in charge with preparing a text concerning the issue at UN level, it contains also many interesting questions on how multinational companies may be induced to respect human rights in today's world, where legal sources and soft law often combine with solemn declarations and uneffective instruments.
I strongly recommend this book both for those who are new at the issue, and need to deepen it for academic or other reasons, and for those who want to find an outstanding description, together with cases, of one of the most questioned matters of international law.
This amazing work by Prof. John Ruggie is a core material for anyone that wants to properly engage with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GP). I use 'engage' in the context of the distinction between ‘shallow’ and ‘deep’ learning. The tendency to criticise a work/instrument without properly engaging with it is a pointer towards ‘shallow’ learning. At the 'transformational end’ of learning (Brockbank &McGill, 2007:4), criticism takes the form of constructivism as a result of proper engagement with the subject. It was in the search for the latter form of learning that I purchased Ruggie (2013). My objective in buying this text was to fill a gap that reading any statute/legal instrument often throws up: absence of context. I reasoned that since Prof John Ruggie was the main architect of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a work written by him would fill the context gap and offer me the required tools for a deeper engagement with the GP. I can now report to readers that this work met my expectations. Couched in analytical tone, I found this book extremely helpful in locating the context, theoretical framework and philosophical underpinning of the GP. Whatever stand I eventually take on the viability of the GP in the context of chronic poverty and poor governance cannot affect my appreciation of this work as a crucial tool in helping me construct that meaning.
Very interesting piece from John Ruggie capturing the journey of the principles and guidelines on human rights and business, and the way forward. The most interesting analysis in the form of historical arguments is the leaning towards a binding regime or towards a non-binding regime. The main argument put forward in this regard is one for pluralism.
The structure is a little incoherent at times but overall extremely insightful. In particular, there are some parts, where the author summarises some of the more complex issues in a comprehensible manner.