Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 155, Issue 4, pp 941–950 | Cite as

International Business as a Possible Civilizing Force in a Cosmopolitan World

  • Norman E. BowieEmail author
Original Paper


The effect of capitalism on the quality of life has been much debated. Albert O. Hirschman has classified the views of the impact of capitalism on the quality of life as civilizing, destructive, and feeble. I believe that multinational corporations (MNCs) should be and could be a civilizing force in today’s cosmopolitan but turbulent world. A number of initiatives will be discussed with special emphasis on business contributions to human rights and to the achievement of past and present United Nations (UN) initiatives. As MNCs undertake these initiatives, they will do well by doing good.


Civilizing capitalism Destructive capitalism Human rights Multinational corporations (MNCs) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) UN Global Compact 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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