Tides of change: The state, business and the human

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

In recent decades international law has witnessed an undeniable shift away from the traditional Westphalian structure that has long kept sovereign states masters of their own domains. Globalisation, advancing technologies and increased interconnectedness among people has ushered in a greater awareness of ‘foreign’ places, people and politics. The past decade in particular has seen remarkable evolution in the field of international law in relation to the protection of human rights, though much of the law reflecting this evolution is either soft law or only binding at the domestic level. Businesses formerly insulated by the cover of private law, are receiving greater attention for their role in human rights abuses, a field generally defined and defended by public law. Almost in parallel, the role of states in protecting human rights outwith their borders has also shifted. Gone are the days when states simply looked the other way as the populations of another state suffered due to the neglect or offenses of their government. A collective conscience has evolved – a conscience that no longer tolerates human deprivation and suffering at the hands of actors that were formerly ‘off-limits’ for the purposes of global human rights scrutiny. This chapter examines the expanding recognition of business as a human rights duty-bearer and how this expansion reflects the transitioning role of states through the responsibility to protect concept.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeyond Responsibility to Protect
Subtitle of host publicationGenerating Change in International Law
EditorsRichard Barnes, Vasslilis Tzevelekos
ISBN (Print)9781780682648
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • duty-bearer
  • Responsibility to Protect
  • Business and Human Rights
  • Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework


Dive into the research topics of 'Tides of change: The state, business and the human'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this