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This chapter seeks to expose some of the divergences between doctrine and reality, and to suggest ways of understanding the field that take proper account of business. It does so first by examining the roles and goals of business entities with respect to international environmental law. It then examines how international law has accommodated the place of business in environmental policy with respect to two key issues: (1) corporations as the target of legal obligations; and (2) corporations as participants in the process of international environmental law, particularly with respect to law-making and implementation. I conclude with some thoughts regarding a reconceptualization of the doctrine.


This material was originally published in em>The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, edited by Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunnée, and Ellen Hey and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit