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Workplace democracy and corporate human rights responsibilities

Christian Neuhäuser and Andreas Oldenbourg

Review of Social Economy, 2020, vol. 78, issue 3, 331-350

Abstract: In this article, we offer an argument for workplace democracy that focuses on human rights responsibilities of corporations. We argue that democratic corporations are better equipped to fulfill their human rights responsibilities along two dimensions. First, workplace democracy makes it more probable that corporations live up to their human rights responsibilities. This is due to the instrumental role of democracy for advancing basic justice. Second, corporations are more legitimate in carrying out their human rights responsibilities if they are democratically controlled. This claim builds on the procedural role of democracy in the face of pluralism over the implementation of human rights. Neither point is meant to replace other arguments for workplace democracy. However, they are a necessary supplement when states are either repressive or ineffective, as is often the case.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2020.1725832

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