Chair of International Business Society and Sustainability

The chair International Business, Society and Sustainability aims to advance the research frontier by addressing critical themes in interdisciplinary social science research related to sustainable development, business and human rights and environmental governance. Our teaching and research activities revolve around the question of how international business relationships could become more just and sustainable. For discussing this question, we draw on and contribute to different theoretical and empirical debates, such as on environmental justice, business and human rights, telecoupling, political ecology, corporate accountability and the sustainability governance of global supply chains. One of our current research interests are supply chain regulations from the demand-side, in particular human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD) laws. We study the policy-making processes, institutional design, compliance of companies, accountability dynamics and consequences of HREDD regimes in diverse sites of production in the Global South.

In our analyses we use and combine diverse mixes of methods, among them semi-structured interviews, participatory observation, document analysis, surveys, discourse analysis, transdisciplinary methods and network analysis. The geographical focus of the chair’s activities is mainly set on Latin America and Europe, but we also carry out comparative research covering other places and regions. As sociopolitical processes and governance arrangements at different scales interact with and shape each other, our research focuses on different scales and cross-scalar linkages.

In collaboration with the NGO Fern, Almut Schilling-Vacaflor and Maria-Therese Gustafsson (Univ. Stockholm), have supported the creation of a Forest and Rights Observatory, which aims to collect and visualize data on human rights violations in Brazil, with a focus on land tenure rights and land conflicts. The report is available here:

Category: Publications

On 6 March 2024, Mairon Bastos Lima and Almut Schilling-Vacaflor presented and discussed their article "Supply chain divergence challenges a ‘Brussels effect’ from Europe's human rights and environmental due diligence laws" published by Global Policy. You can watch the recording here:

Category: Events

In this winter semester, we offer the following courses: 1) Power, Order and Institutions in World Politics, 2) Social, Ecological and Economic Sustainability in a Globalized World, and 3) Globalized Economies, Socio-Environmental Conflicts and Environmental Justice in Latin America

Category: Teaching