IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Bargains Old and New: Multinational Corporations in Global Governance


  • Levy David L.

    (University of Massachusetts, Boston)

  • Prakash Aseem

    (University of Washington-Seattle)


This paper outlines an approach for understanding the role of multinational corporations (MNCs) in global governance. We develop a typology of regime types with two dimensions, the goal of the regime, which can be market enabling or regulatory, and the location of authority, which can be national, regional, or international, with public and private elements. MNCs tend to support the creation of market enabling regimes at the international level, and prefer to keep social or environmental regulation under national or private authority. However, these are only generalizations and MNCs develop preferences based on their relative influence in various arenas, the costs of political participation, and competitive considerations. We argue that institutions of global governance represent the outcome of a series of negotiations among corporations, states, and non-state actors. The preferences and power of MNCs vary across issues and sectors, and from one negotiating forum to another, accounting for the uneven and fragmented nature of the resulting system. Our approach differs from the traditional FDI bargaining framework in that it recognizes the multi-party nature of negotiations and multiple sources of power. Moreover, the complexity and dynamic nature of the process results in a somewhat indeterminate process.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy David L. & Prakash Aseem, 2003. "Bargains Old and New: Multinational Corporations in Global Governance," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-21, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:5:y:2003:i:2:n:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Wagner, Marcus, 2015. "A European perspective on country moderation effects: Environmental management systems and sustainability-related human resource benefits," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 379-388.
    2. Rizopoulos, Yorgos A. & Sergakis, Dimitrios E., 2010. "MNEs and policy networks: Institutional embeddedness and strategic choice," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 250-256, July.
    3. Wagner, Marcus, 2010. "The role of corporate sustainability performance for economic performance: A firm-level analysis of moderation effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1553-1560, May.
    4. Nicolas Dahan & Jonathan Doh & Jonathan Raelin, 2015. "Pivoting the Role of Government in the Business and Society Interface: A Stakeholder Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 665-680, October.
    5. Denis Collins, 2009. "The Failure of a Socially Responsive Gold Mining MNC in El Salvador: Ramifications of NGO Mistrust," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(2), pages 245-268, September.
    6. Spagnoletti, Belinda & O’Callaghan, Terry, 2013. "Let there be light: A multi-actor approach to alleviating energy poverty in Asia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 738-746.
    7. Fichter Michael & Stevis Dimitris & Helfen Markus, 2012. "Bargaining for corporate responsibility: The global and the local of framework agreements in the USA," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-31, October.
    8. Libman, Alexander, 2007. "Institutional competition in the post-Soviet space," MPRA Paper 10936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Quak Sander & Heilbron Johan & van der Veen Romke, 2012. "Has globalization eroded firms’ responsibility for their employees? A sociological analysis of transnational firms’ corporate social responsibility policies concerning their employees in the Netherlan," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-21, October.
    10. Udayasankar, Krishna & Das, Shobha & Krishnamurti, Chandrasekhar, 2008. "When is Two Really Company? The Effects of Competition and Regulation on Corporate Governance," Working Paper Series 4020, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    11. Vivoda Vlado, 2011. "Bargaining Model for the International Oil Industry," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(4), pages 1-36, December.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:5:y:2003:i:2:n:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.