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Transnational Corporations and Their Regulation: Issues and Strategies1

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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In each decade since 1960, transnational corporations (TNCs) have tripled their foreign direct investment stock, such that worldwide sales of foreign affiliates are now 1.5 times greater than total world exports. In 1997, 53,607 TNCs controlled nearly 450,000 foreign affiliates located around the globe. According to the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations (UNCTC, 1990: 22), the major role in the world economy now played by TNCs "leave[s] them not fully under the control of a single corporate office against whom national regulations can be applied." This paper identifies the issues perceived as requiring TNC regulation, and examines various international and supranational strategies that have been designed to control transnational corporate activities and to maintain national sovereignty. It is concluded that in order to preserve national sovereignty in a global economy, authority must be coordinated and shared across borders.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P5 Canada


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