A New Responsibility in the Making: Business Companies and Human Rights

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There is a global struggle going on, and it is not going to end soon. This struggle concerns the question, to what extent transnational companies are or should be responsible for human rights. In plenty of countries worldwide, lawsuits, civil society campaigns, political and legislative initiatives address companies’ involvement in human rights violations. Rana Plaza, Shell, Nestlé, Daimler or KiK represent just a few out of numerous examples.

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What Happened in Syria? Global Governance Between “Epistemic Authority” and “Fake News”


In April 2018, practitioners of global governance had to respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma. In order to do so, however, it was necessary to acquire information on what happened there on April 7. Since establishing facts in a warzone is a notoriously difficult task, one may expect that neutral experts – such as those from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which aims at eliminating chemical weapons – would play an important role.

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Interview: Michael Zürn über Global Governance und “Orders Beyond Borders”

In der ersten Folge unserer neuen Interviewreihe spricht Lynda Iroulo mit dem Direktor der Abteilung Global Governance am WZB und Professor für Internationale Beziehungen an der Freien Universität Berlin – Michael Zürn. Dabei geht es um unseren neuen Blog, Populismus und internationale Beziehungen – und wir finden heraus mit welchem politischen Theoretiker Michael gerne Abendessen gehen würde.

Eine gekürzte und ins Deutsche übersetzte Version des Interviews finden Sie weiter unten oder Sie hören sich das gesamte Interview (auf Englisch) hier an:

Iroulo: Können Sie kurz die Abteilung Global Governance und den Blog vorstellen?

Zürn: Die Forscher*innen unserer Abteilung arbeiten hauptsächlich zu internationalen Institutionen. Wie funktionieren diese? Welchen Einfluss haben sie auf die Weltpolitik und wie kooperieren diese Institutionen im System, das wir Global Governance nennen? Aber auch die Theorien internationaler Politik interessieren uns. Wir sind eine lebendige und bunte Gruppe aus rund 25 Mitarbeiter*innen – Doktorand*innen, Postdocs, Forschungsassistent*innen und mir.

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Interview: Michael Zürn on Global Governance and “Orders Beyond Borders”

In the first episode of our new interview series, host Lynda Iroulo is interviewing Michael Zürn, Director of the Global Governance Research Unit at the WZB and Professor of International Relations at the Free University in Berlin. Topics include the new blog, populism and international relations – and finding out with which early political theorist Michael would like to dine.

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

Iroulo: Could you briefly introduce the Global Governance Unit and the Blog?

Zürn: The Global Governance Unit at the WZB Berlin Social Science Centre consists of a group of scholars who work essentially on issues related to international institutions – such as how they work, what effect they have on world politics, and how they collaborate in a global governance system – as well as on the institutional theory of international politics. We are a lively and diverse group of approximately twenty-five people, consisting of doctoral students, postdocs, research assistants, and myself.

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