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Talisman and Sudan: the role of multinationals in conflict zones

Published on May 29, 2017   4 min
0:04
As we are always being reminded, businesses operate globally. International relations and politics are no longer just the domains of nation states, big multinational companies are also concerned with international politics and order. They are not above conflict of national interest and can be partisans of particular countries. There may be a few companies that are transnational and are truly separate from national interest and are citizens of the world. Most multinationals, however, have their origins and their loyalties to particular countries. Historically, multinationals were rooted in countries that developed in the West and Japan. But now companies such as Tata which has its origins in India have joined the phalanx of global corporations. Conflict, disorder, and a lack of the rule of law between and within states are not good for business. But corporations may still need to do business in regions and countries where those things are present either because such places happen to be the source of materials the corporations consume or simply because corporations need to operate within them to expand their markets. This can create dilemmas for companies when professed commitments to being socially responsible and strategic necessity clash. If a company finds itself operating in a country in which there is the conflict and absence of human rights or corruption, how should it respond? This is not a simple question to answer as the following example illustrates.
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Talisman and Sudan: the role of multinationals in conflict zones

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