Entries by Michael Posner

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How Biden Can Boost Human Rights in Egypt

In its first 100 days, the Biden administration renewed its focus on human rights. After years of internal debate, the United States declared Turkish attacks in Armenia a century ago a genocide. Senior officials also strongly condemned the military coup in Myanmar and denounced Russian President Putin’s persecution of imprisoned opposition leader Alexey Navalny. The Biden administration released an intelligence report linking […]

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Why Corporate America Should Oppose the National Effort to Suppress Voting

As Republican politicians in states across the country move to restrict voting rights, corporate leaders are faced with an uncomfortable choice. They must decide whether to publicly challenge these cynical measures, which are predicated on the patently false assertion that the 2020 election was riddled with fraud, or remain on the sidelines in an attempt to […]

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Should Combat Voter Suppression

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls itself the “world’s largest business organization.” Founded in 1912 at the behest of President William Howard Taft, the Chamber has spent a century promoting the perspective of American business on issues like taxes, regulation, and trade policy. It has doled out more than $1.6 billion to lobby the federal government since 1998, more […]

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The Real Test for McKinsey After Rejecting CEO Kevin Sneader

Last month, McKinsey’s 650 global partners turned down CEO Kevin Sneader’s bid for a second three-year term at the helm. The rejection marked the first time in 40 years the storied consulting firm has opted not to offer its leader a second term. The vote came as McKinsey struggles to reconcile its lucrative business model with a […]

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It’s Time the U.S. Linked Egypt’s Military Aid to Real Reform on Human Rights

Ten years ago, Hosni Mubarak was forced to relinquish power in Egypt after protests brought millions to the streets of Cairo and Tahrir Square. This popular uprising was the epicenter of what many called the Arab Spring. Like its predecessor, the 1968 “Prague Spring,” the promise of swift liberalization of a repressive system eventually went unfulfilled. A decade […]

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American Unity Starts with the Truth

President Biden made a passionate appeal for unity in his inaugural address Wednesday, saying, “My whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.” Those words reflect Biden’s character and temperament. He seeks common ground, not confrontation. This is a welcome […]

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How Business Can Boost Human Rights in 2021

Few will regret the passing of 2020, a year headlined by a global health crisis, profound economic distress, and high-profile examples of racial inequality. From my vantage point, working on human rights in a business school, the past year has underscored the need for global business leaders and government officials to take a more deliberate, […]

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How Tesla Should Combat Child Labor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Elon Musk recently announced that Tesla plans to manufacture 20 million electric-powered vehicles by 2030. His bold growth target dovetails with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that he will propose that his state require all new cars and trucks to be non-gasoline powered by 2035. The impetus is clear: Global warming is threatening our planet, and a […]

Featured Ethics [and Human Rights] Scholar for April: Mike Posner

Interview with Mike Posner, Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance and Director for the Center of Business and Human Rights at NYU Stern School of Business

 

What are your main areas of research/work?

When we launched the Center in 2013, we sought to pioneer new ways of investigating business practices at the industry level. Our methodology prioritizes interview-based research with business leaders and other stakeholders, combined with documentary evidence, policy and data analysis, and visualization.

 

How does strengthening human rights help reduce ethical misconduct in companies?

To date, most approaches to address human rights or sustainability in business have focused on what happens within the four walls of the firm. They focus on the activities of individual managers to improve company practices or corporate financial contributions to improve the environment, women’s empowerment, or public health. We are very focused on how large global companies make money, their business models for doing so, and the human rights risks in their industry that accompany that model.