Paperback / softback
October 16, 2008
2 figures
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
1.06 Pounds (US)
$26.00 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The UN and Transnational Corporations

From Code of Conduct to Global Compact

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.

About the Authors

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.


"This volume in the 'United Nations Intellectual History Project Series' rescues from the memory hole an account of initiatives and ideas generated by the UN's Centre on Transnational Corporations (1974-92). The book traces how proposals for a New International Economic Order in the 1970s gave way to a shift in the 1980s to greater pragmatism and eventual absorption of the Centre into the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). One chapter recounts the controversy over the role of transnational corporations (TNCs) in ending South African apartheid. Sagafi-nejad, an expert on technology transfer and foreign investment, collaborated with Dunning, a world authority on TNCs, to produce a careful, thorough work with unique content. Few UN histories say much about UN economic projects, and fewer mention TNCs. UNCTAD's Beyond Conventional Wisdom in Development Policy: An Intellectual History of UNCTAD 1964-2004 (2004) briefly discusses the UNCTC and TNCs, and John Toye and Richard Toye's The UN and Global Political Economy (CH, Dec'04, 42-2330) is a more exciting intellectual history of related (but not identical) economic issues. This new volume is a must for graduate libraries . . . Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate and research collections. —Choice"—M. Larudee, Mount Holyoke College, June 2009

". . . 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

"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

9780253220127 : the-un-and-transnational-corporations-sagafi-nejad-dunning
Paperback / softback
312 Pages
$26.00 USD

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