Extraterritorial obligations, financial globalization and macroeconomic governance

Radhika Balakrishnan, James Theintz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The economies of the world have become increasingly interconnected. What happens in one country’s economy spills over to other economies-a fact dramatically illustrated by the global financial crisis that unfolded in 2008. A meltdown that began in one part of the financial sector, the United States sub-prime mortgage market, sent shock waves to economies throughout much of the rest of the world. More generally, financial flows and productive resources are mobile across national boundaries and shit in response to changing economic conditions. Business entities operate in many countries simultaneously and move operations and activities across their affiliates. Production processes are frequently fragmented and organised into global supply chains, with different stages of production occurring across a range of countries. The growing integration of the world’s economies means that actions taken by one government affect the economic environment elsewhere. Moreover, the liberalisation of financial flows between countries limits the policies that a government is able to adopt. These changes pose fundamental challenges to the ability of governments to fulfil their obligations for the realisation of human rights, both within and beyond their territorial borders. In this chapter, we examine these relationships and their implications for the realisation of economic and social rights. Extraterritorial obligations refer to acts and omissions of a government that affect the enjoyment of rights outside of the State’s own territory. Given the current process of globalisation, the question of extraterritorial obligations has become increasingly central to understanding the barriers to realising human rights. Extraterritorial obligations are relevant for a range of economic issues — from the behaviour of transnational corporations to trade and investment policies. In this chapter, we focus on monetary and financial policies, areas in which the connections between a State’s extraterritorial obligations and the realisation of rights are just beginning to be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEconomic and Social Rights After the Global Financial Crisis
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781107337954
ISBN (Print)9781107043251
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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