"Traduttore, Traditore?" Translating human rights into the corporate context

The Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) warmly invite you to join guest speaker Professor John Ferguson from the University of St Andrews as he discusses his work on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

  • Wed 17 Mar 21

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Online

    Join this Seminar

  • Event speaker

    Professor John Ferguson, University of St Andrews

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Danson Kimani

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support our world-class research activities in four key areas: social responsibility and corporate governance; (management) accounting change (in privatised, public and third sector); global development, corruption and accountability; and reporting, regulation and capital markets. The seminar series is also expected to promote interdisciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with both within the University and with external institutions.

Seminar abstract

This presentation critically investigates the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) into the corporate setting through the concept of ‘translation’.

In the decade since the creation of the UNGPs, little academic research has focused specifically on the corporate implementation of human rights.

Drawing on qualitative case studies of two multinational corporations – an oil and gas company and a bank – this presentation unpacks how human rights are translated into the corporate context.

In doing so, it focuses on the “resonance dilemma” translators encounter, the strategies used to make human rights understandable and palatable, and the difficulties that emerge from this process.

It is contended that the process of making human rights understandable and manageable can change their form and content, which may act as an obstacle to human rights realisation and corporate accountability for human rights.


This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.

We warmly invite you to join with your friends, colleagues and classmates.

You can join this seminar online on Wednesday 17 March 2021 at 2pm

Speaker Bio

John's research interests are in the area of accountability and corporate governance.

In particular, his work explores the social and organisational impact of different models of corporate governance and issues related to corporate accountability for human rights. In respect of the latter, John has worked with the Scottish Government to develop a National Baseline Assessment (NBA) of Scotland's implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

Based on the work undertaken for the NBA, John continues to provide input into the development of a Scottish National Action Plan.

John is currently Co-Director of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accountability (CSEAR).

He has previously served as the Editor of CSEAR's journal, Social and Environmental Accountability Journal (SEAJ) and currently serves on the editorial boards of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal and Accounting and Business Research.

His research has been published in several journals including:

  • Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal;
  • Accounting Forum;
  • Accounting History;
  • British Accounting Review;
  • Business Ethics: A European Review;
  • Critical Perspectives on Accounting;
  • Journal of Business Ethics;
  • Social and Environmental Accountability Journal.

 John is a visiting professor at the University of Bergamo.

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