The UN and Transnational Corporations

The UN and Transnational Corporations

From Code of Conduct to Global Compact
Tagi Sagafi-nejad, foreword by Howard V. Perlmutter, with John H. Dunning
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/16/2008
Format: Paperback 2 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-22012-7
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


Are transnational corporations (TNCs) and foreign direct investment beneficial or harmful to societies around the world? Since the birth of the United Nations more than 60 years ago, these questions have been major issues of interest and involvement for UN institutions. What have been the key ideas generated by the UN about TNCs and their relations with nation-states? How have these ideas evolved and what has been their impact? This book examines the history of UN engagement with TNCs, including the creation of the UN Commission and Centre on Transnational Corporations in 1974, the failed efforts of these bodies to craft a code of conduct to temper the revealed abuses of TNCs, and, with the advent of globalization in the 1980s, the evolution of a more cooperative relationship between TNCs and developing countries, resulting in the 1999 Global Compact.

Author Bio

Tagi Sagafi-nejad is the Radcliffe Killam Distinguished Professor of International Business and Director of the Ph.D. International Business Administration at Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas. He is author of Controlling International Technology Transfer: Issues, Perspectives, and Implications and Technology Exports from Developing Countries: The Case of Egypt.

John H. Dunning is Emeritus Professor of International Business at the University of Reading, UK, and State of New Jersey Emeritus Professor of International Business at Rutgers University. He has authored, co-authored, or edited 42 books on the economics of international direct investment and the multinational enterprise, and on industrial and regional economics.


“Examines the history of UN involvement with transnational corporations and foreign direct investment. “This book is essential for anyone who wishes to understand the evolution of attitudes toward foreign direct investment in the developing world over the past 50 years.” —Louis T. Wells, Harvard Business School”

“This book is essential for anyone who wishes to understand the evolution of attitudes toward foreign direct investment in the developing world over the past 50 years. ”
 — Louis T. Wells, Harvard Business School

“A masterly contribution to the history of thought in the new but influential field of international business.”
 — Alan M. Rugman, Indiana University

“Ten thousand books on the amorphous term 'globalization' have failed to analyze what this landmark volume delivers—the institutional 'bricks and mortar' that undergird our planetary economy.”
 — Farok J. Contractor, Rutgers University

“. . . a careful, thorough work with unique content . . . This new volume is a must for graduate libraries. . . . Highly recommended.June 2009”
 — Choice

“[This book] helps unravel the complexity and deepens understanding of the role the United Nations played in promoting an understanding of TNCs (transnational corporations) and FDI (foreign direct investment). This is a unique book . . . . Simply put, the book is well written and makes for interesting reading. No scholar devoted to the global economy should be without it.Vol. LIV.2 Fall 2009”
 — Edward Nissan, The University of Southern Mississippi

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

List of Boxes, Figures, and Tables
Series Editors' Foreword Louis Emmerij, Richard Jolly, and Thomas G. Weiss
Preface & Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations

1. Ideas and Institutions Relevant to Foreign Investment and TNCs Prior to World War II
2. The Early Post-World War II Era: From the Golden Years of FDI to the Incipient Rise of Economic Nationalism
3. The 1970s: Gathering Storm
4. The Group of Eminent Persons: The Eye of the Hurricane
5. The Commission and the Centre, New York Years, 1974-1992
6. New York to Geneva: The UNCTAD Years
7. World Investment Report Series: 1991-2005
8. Other Members of the UN Galaxy: The Constellation
9. The Legacy and Future
Appendix 1: Organizational Diagram of UNCTC at its Inception, 1974
Appendix 2: From New York (UNCTC) to Geneva (DITE): Leadership
About the Authors
About the United Nations Intellectual History Project

Related Titles