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The Multinational Corporation: Expanding the Frontiers of World Politics

David Osterberg and Fouad Ajami
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 15, No. 4 (Dec., 1971), pp. 457-470
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/173234
Page Count: 14
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The Multinational Corporation: Expanding the Frontiers of World Politics
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Abstract

This essay argues that a full understanding of world politics must go well beyond the traditional analyses of nation-states and their cognate institutions. Specifically, the authors assert that multinational corporations are important actors in world affairs. This is so, in the first place, due to the immediately political acts they commit in conjunction with and/or against nation-states. Second it is argued that actors involved in establishing normative codes for society are at the same time committing significant political acts. Not only should multinational corporations be included in the analysis of world politics by virtue of the immediately significant political acts they engage in, but also because of their role as one of the leading architects and disseminators of world culture. The authors call for systematic study of the political and normative dimensions of multinational activity. This, they argue, is urgently needed at present inasmuch as the multinational corporation is among the most important political actors today, and yet probably the least accountable to any of the constituencies upon which it has significant effects.

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