Harris Gleckman Essay on MNCs in Global Governance
April 19, 2016  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Featured  //  No Comment
Harris Gleckman

Dr. Harris Gleckman

Harris Gleckman, Senior Fellow of the Center for Governance and Sustainability and Principal of Benchmark Environmental Consulting, has penned a new essay on global governance for Open Democracy. Dr. Gleckman’s essay is titled Re-visioning Global Governance: Constraining the Power of MNCs, and it outlines four options for controlling corporate dominance over global governance.

With decades of experience working for UNCTAD and other UN organizations, Dr. Gleckman is a keen observer of the effects of multinational corporations on global governance. In his essay, he gives a brief history of the UN system and its major criticisms and defenses. He argues that MNCs have eclipsed nation-states in power in terms of setting and adapting the international agenda.

The World Economic Forum (Davos) argues that MNCs should become more engaged in global governance. But there are those who argue that MNCs are in fact in the way of a truly democratic system of global governance. Looking to both sides of that argument for inspiration, Dr. Gleckman expands on four proposals to reform the current global governance system in light of increased MNC influence and power.

In brief, his options are:

  1. Give economic, environmental, social, and gender decision-making the same status as Security Council decision-making over peacekeeping. This would entail according significantly more authority to the UN to make mandatory policy regarding economic, social, and environmental issues.
  2. Outlaw MNC participation in policymaking and implementation.
  3. Establish a self-standing civil society body at the UN to scrutinize MNC activities in global governance.
  4. Create a new convention on how a corporate-centric multistakeholder governance system ought to operate.


Each of these proposals would significantly alter the global governance system, and are worthy of further thought and consideration. To read the full essay, click here.

About the Author :

Michael Denney is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is a Research Associate at the Center for Governance and Sustainability.

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