Doing Business Right

‘Doing Business Right is a project within the strand Advancing Public Interests in International and European law.

Doing Business has been a (if not the) core concern for the post-WWII world order, leading up to contemporary economic globalisation and the ‘free’ movement of goods, capital and ideas across the globe. With this research project, the Asser Institute aims to shift the focus towards Doing Business Right.

Thanks to the financial crisis in 2008, there is growing awareness of the fact that Doing Business can lead to extremely adverse social and economic consequences. The trust in Doing Business as a cure-all to modernise, democratise, or civilise the world is fading. Moreover, the damaging externalities prompted by the operation of transnational economic activity are more and more visible. It has become harder, nowadays, to ignore the environmental and social consequences triggered elsewhere by our consumption patterns or by our reliance on certain energy industries.

The project focuses on investigating the role of law in securing the public interest in the context of transnational economic activities. In particular, it aims to address the function of law in ensuring that economic globalisation is reflective of it publics. It does so by asking what Doing Business Right means, and investigating how the law responds to the urge to do business right. What are the legal mechanisms used, or that could be used, to ensure that business is done in the right way? Can transnational business activity even be subjected to law in a globalized world?

The project carries out several activities, including the publication of academic contributions and policy briefs; hosting academic lecture series and conferences; the organisation of policy workshops and roundtables; and the organisation of an annual Winter Academy.

The Doing Business Right Blog offers an academic platform for scholars and practitioners interested in questions related to Doing Business Right. It hosts in-depth case studies, but also more theoretical takes on the normative underpinnings of the idea of Doing Business Right. Posts cover issues as diverse as national, EU, international and transnational regulations applying to transnational business conduct. Case law from the CJEU or international tribunals, national courts, as well as decisions from international organisations will be recurring objects of discussion and analysis. Practices of transnational companies and their effects are also scrutinized.

Project leader: Dr. Antoine Duval