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Title: The power of business and the power of people : understanding remedy and business accountability for human rights violations, Colombia 1970-2014
Author: Bernal-Bermudez, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 9406
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The questions of business involvement in human rights violations in countries facing civil conflict, as well as access to remedy and accountability for these violations have generated a considerable amount of attention from academia and practitioners. While most theoretical efforts on access to remedy and accountability have focused on identifying the obstacles to access to justice, these do not explain the unlikely case of Colombia, where despite all structural obstacles being present (e.g. armed conflict, corruption), the country has positioned itself as a leader in the region in terms of judicialisation and convictions of economic actors for their complicity with grave human rights violations committed in the course of the 50 year internal armed conflict. This thesis is a theory building and theory-testing project that looks for alternative explanations to the outcomes registered in Colombia, focusing on the agents involved in these cases and how the variation in the power of the people (claimants) and the power of businesses (defendants) explains access to justice. This thesis uses the most comprehensive datasets in existence of business involvement in human rights violations (the Corporations and Human Rights Database and the Corporate Accountability and Transitional Justice Database) to present a novel and much needed systematic analysis to identify the factors explaining why and when remedy and accountability is possible. The results of the study suggest that the variations in the power of people and the power of business do offer a plausible alternative explanation to the unlikely case of Colombia. The Colombia data analyzed in this thesis suggests that while an increase in the power of the people (through the support of global actors and political opportunities) is necessary to secure judicialisation and remedy, these results are only possible when they face an economic actor with reduced veto power.
Supervisor: Payne, Leigh Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Transitional justice ; Business and human rights ; Access to justice ; Colombia ; Corporate complicity ; business and human rights