New Book Features NDLS Faculty

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williams book news cchr A new book titled “Peace through Commerce: Responsible Corporate Citizenship and the Ideals of the United Nations Global Compact,” includes essays by major business leaders and scholars—including Notre Dame Law School’s Douglass Cassel and Sean O’Brien—who discuss the issues presented by the United Nations Global Compact, including the impact of commerce in promoting peace and the benefits of global economic development through voluntary corporate policies and actions.

Cassel, director of Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, and O’Brien, the Center’s assistant director, authored chapter three, titled “Transnational Corporate Accountability and the Rule of Law.” The chapter identifies “sources of existing and emerging international law that might be used to hold [transnational corporations] accountable for human rights violations.”

faculty_cassel Launched in 2000 with more than 5,000 worldwide businesses participating, the United Nations Global Compact serves as a forum in which multinational businesses work to promote human rights, prevent violent conflict and contribute to peace, and is the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship organization.

The book is edited by Rev. Oliver F. Williams, C.S.C., associate professor of management and director of the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business at the University of Notre Dame, addresses the global corporate role in promoting more peaceful societies.

Published by Notre Dame Press, the book contains case studies documenting the efforts of individual businesses – including IBM, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, General Electric, Nestle and Ford – to successfully serve society’s interests as well as their own.

Though the relationship between economic development and peace has been explored before, the book’s practical look at specific corporate strategies designed to foster peace is new.

“It may only be a matter of time before corporations become subject to explicit international human rights obligations,” write Cassel and O’Brien. “Meanwhile, there remains time for all stateholders—including [transnational corporations]—to advocate responsible approaches to legal accountability.”

Contact: Douglass Cassel, 574-631-7895,, or Sean O’Brien, 574-631-8544,