The rise of globally-oriented state ownership has emerged as a crucial issue across political, economic, and legal planes during the past decade. Contrary to the traditional approach where state ownership is viewed primarily through trade law, antitrust law, and corporate law, this article discusses the proliferating state shareholder power in relation to international human rights law. In particular, the article interrogates three recent U.N. human rights governance instruments by using narratives that highlight perils, potential, and specialty of state ownership in the emerging business and human rights agenda. It is argued that the U.N. instruments realize the changes in the architecture of globalized state ownership, portray it as a regulatory space, and seek to utilize this space by recalibrating states’ private shareholder identities with public ends. At the same time, however, the nascent human rights-based regulation of state ownership exposes a deeper market contingency underpinning the techniques of contemporary human rights governance.


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pp. 665-707
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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