John Ruggie  


Business and Human Rights

Bio and CV

    Articles and chapters





John G. Ruggie is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. He also serves as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights.
Trained as a political scientist, Ruggie has made significant intellectual contributions to the study of international relations, focusing on the impact of globalization on global rule making. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, he has received the International Studies Association’s “Distinguished Scholar” award, the American Political Science Association’s Hubert Humphrey award for “outstanding public service by a political scientist,” and a Guggenheim Fellowship. A recent survey published in Foreign Policy magazine identified him as one of the 25 most influential international relations scholars in the United States and Canada.
Apart from his academic pursuits, Ruggie has long been involved in practical policy work, initially as a consultant to various agencies of the United Nations and the United States government. From 1997-2001 he was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning – a post created specifically for him by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His responsibilities included establishing and overseeing the UN Global Compact, now the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative; proposing and gaining General Assembly approval for the Millennium Development Goals; advising Annan on relations with Washington; and broadly contributing to the effort at institutional renewal for which Annan and the United Nations as a whole were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
Ruggie has been UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights since 2005. His mandate is to propose measures that will strengthen the human rights performance of the business sector around the world. In 2008 the UN Human Rights Council was unanimous in welcoming a policy framework he proposed for that purpose and extending the mandate for a further three years, asking him to build on and promote the framework so as to provide concrete guidance for states, businesses, and other social actors. For this achievement, Ethical Corporation magazine, published in the UK, named Ruggie among its top 10 “Ethical Leaders” for 2008.




John Gerard Ruggie
Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
Tel: 617-384-7569; Fax: 617-496-0063


Education        B.A. (Politics and History), McMaster University, Canada, 1967;
                        M.A. (Political Science), University of California, Berkeley, 1968;
                        Ph.D. (Political Science), University of California, Berkeley, 1974.


Berthold Beitz Professor of International Affairs; Affiliated Faculty Member, Harvard Law School, 2005-present;

Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for business and human rights, 2005-present.


Assistant Secretary-General, Senior Adviser for Strategic Planning to the Secretary-General, United Nations, New York, 1997-2001;

Burgess Professor of Political Science, James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations, Columbia University, 1996-2001 (on public service leave 1997-2001);

Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 1991-1996;

Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, 1983-1987, 1991-1996;         Associate Professor, 1978-1983;
Professor of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, 
San Diego, 1987-1991;

Director, University of California (systemwide) Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, 1989-1991;

Acting Assistant Professor/Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1973-1978.



Jean Monnet Visiting Professor, European University Institute, Florence, May 1994;

Visiting Professor, Institute of International Relations, Beijing University, Spring 1988;

Visiting Research Fellow, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1976-1977.


Honors & Awards

Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), McMaster University, Canada, 2000;

Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, since 1999;

Distinguished Scholar Award, International Studies Association, 1999;

Hubert H. Humphrey Award for outstanding public service,
American Political Science Association, 2000;

Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford: 1996-1997 (deferred);

Listed in Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in the World.


Elected Memberships

Council on Foreign Relations, since 1990;

Foreign Policy Association, Board of Governors, 1992-1995;

United Nations Association of the United States of America, Board of Governors, 1983-1988, National Council, since 1988.


Professional and Community Service

·President, Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, 1996; Secretary-Treasurer and President-Elect, 1995;
·Council, American Political Science Association, 1996-98;
·Program Committee, American Political Science Association, Annual Meeting, 1980, 1992;
·Board of Directors, The Academic Council on the United Nations System, 1993-1996;
·International Advisory Committee, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan), 1998-2001;
·Board of Education, Bronxville, New York, 1986-87;
●Secretary-General’s Advisory Council on the Global Compact, United Nations, 2002-2005;
·Advisory Council, Stanley Foundation, 2001-present.

Major Consultancies

United Nations:

Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Global Compact, 2003-2005; Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2002; Intergovernmental Working Group on Command and Control of Peacekeeping Operations, 1994; Director General for Development and International Economic Cooperation, 1984-1985; UN Institute for Training and Research, 1984; Office of Science and Technology, 1979; Environment Program (UNEP), 1978-1979.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, 1981-1995; Chair, Advisory Committee, Center for National Security Studies, 1987-1995.




Author. Constructing the World Polity: Essays on International Institutionalization (London and New York: Routledge, 1998);

Author. Winning the Peace: America and World Order in the New Era (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996); named “Outstanding Academic Book of the Year” by Choice; Japanese translation with new Foreword in progress;

Editor and contributing author. Multilateralism Matters: The Theory and Praxis of an Institutional Form (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993); translated into Chinese, with new preface (2003);

Editor and contributing author. The Antinomies of Interdependence: National Welfare and the International Division of Labor (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983);

Co-Editor (with Jagdish Bhagwati) and contributing author. Power, Passions, and Purpose: Prospects for North-South Negotiations (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984);

Co-Editor (with Ernst B. Haas) and contributing author. International Responses to Technology: Regimes, Institutions and Technocrats, special issue of International Organization, 29 (Summer 1975); Harold and Margaret Sprout Award from International Studies Association in 1976 as best book on international environmental subjects published in 1975.

Scholarly Articles & Chapters

"Collective Goods and Future International Collaboration," American Political Science Review, 66 (September 1972);

"The Structure of International Organization: Contingency, Complexity and Postmodern Form," Papers, Peace Research Society (International), 18 (1972);

"International Technology and International Action" (with Ernst B. Haas), in Eugene B. Skolnikoff, ed., Priority Research on Technology-Related Transnational and Global Policy Problems (Cambridge, Mass.: Center for International Studies, MIT, 1973);

"Contingencies, Constraints, and Collective Security: Perspectives on UN Involvement in International Disputes," International Organization, 28 (Summer 1974);

"Complexity, Planning and Public Order," in Todd R. LaPorte, ed., Organized Social Complexity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975);

"International Responses to Technology: Concepts and Trends," International Organization, 29 (Summer 1975); also in Sheila Jasanoff, ed., Comparative Science and Technology Policy (Cheltenham, U. K.: Edward Elgar, 1997);

"On the Creation of a New International Economic Order: Issue-Linkage and the Seventh Special Session of the UN General Assembly" (with Branislav Gosovic), International Organization, 30 (Spring 1976);

"The 'New International Economic Order': Origins and Evolution of the Concept" (with Branislav Gosovic), International Social Science Journal, 28 (Autumn 1976);

"Changing Frameworks of International Collective Behavior: On the Complementarity of Contradictory Tendencies," in Nazli Choucri and Thomas Robinson, eds, Forecasting in International Relations (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1978);

"On the Problem of 'The Global Problematique': What Roles for International Organizations?" Alternatives, 5 (January 1980); also in Richard A. Falk, Samuel S. Kim and Saul H. Mendlovitz, eds, The United Nations and a Just World Order (Boulder: Westview, 1991);

"Information Exchange and International Change: The Case of INFOTERRA" (with Ernst B. Haas), International Relations (London), 7 (May 1981);

"International Regimes, Transactions, and Change: Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order," International Organization, 36 (Spring 1982); also in Stephen D. Krasner, ed., International Regimes (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983); Oran R. Young, ed., The International Political Economy and International Institutions, vol. 2 (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 1996); Charles Lipson and Benjamin J. Cohen, eds, Theory and Structure in International Political Economy (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999); Benjamin J. Cohen, ed., International Political Economy (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, forthcoming);

"What Message in the Medium of Information Systems?" (with Ernst B. Haas), International Studies Quarterly, 26 (June 1982);

"Continuity and Transformation in the World Polity: Toward a Neorealist Synthesis," World Politics, 35 (January 1983); also in Robert O. Keohane, ed., Neorealism and its Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986);

"International Interdependence and National Welfare," in Ruggie, ed., The Antinomies of Interdependence;

"Political Structure and Change in the International Economic Order: The North-South Dimension," in Ruggie, ed., The Antinomies of Interdependence;

"Human Rights and the Future International Community," Daedalus, 112 (Fall 1983);

"Another Round, Another Requiem? Prospects for the Global Negotiations," in Bhagwati and Ruggie, eds, Power, Passions, and Purpose;

"Social Time and International Policy: Conceptualizing Global Population and Resource Issues," in Margaret P. Karns, ed., Persistent Patterns and Emergent Structures in a Waning Century (New York: Praeger, 1986);

"International Organization: A State of the Art on an Art of the State" (with Friedrich Kratochwil), International Organization, 40 (Autumn 1986); also in Paul F. Diehl, ed., The Politics of International Organizations: Patterns and Insights (Chicago: Dorsey Press, 1989); in Friedrich Kratochwil and Edward D. Mansfield, eds, International Organization: A Reader (New York: Harper Collins, 1994); in Oran R. Young, ed., The International Political Economy and International Institutions, vol. 1 (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 1996); in Paul F. Diel, ed., The Politics of Global Governance: International Organizations in an Interdependent World (Boulder, CO: Lynn Rienner, 1996); and in Andrew Linklater, ed., International Relations: Critical Perspectives, vol. 2 (London: Routledge, 2000);

"The North American Political Economy in the Global Context: An Analytical Framework" (with David Leyton‑Brown), International Journal, 42 (Winter 1986/87);

"International Structure and International Transformation: Space, Time and Method," in James N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel, eds, Global Changes and Theoretical Challenges (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989);

"Embedded Liberalism Revisited: Institutions and Progress in International Economic Relations," in Emanuel Adler and Beverly Crawford, eds, Progress in Postwar International Relations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991);

“Multilateralism: The Anatomy of an Institution,” International Organization, 46 (Summer 1992); also      in Ruggie, Multilateralism Matters; and in Friedrich Kratochwil and Edward D. Mansfield, eds, International Organization: A Reader (New York: Harper Collins, 1994);

"Unravelling Trade: Global Institutional Change and the Pacific Economy," in Richard Higgott, Richard Leaver and John Ravenhill, eds, Pacific Economic Relations in the 1990s: Cooperation or Conflict? (Sydney, Australia: Allen and Unwin, 1993; Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1993);

“Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations,” International Organization, 46 (Winter 1993); also in Richard Higgott and Anthony Payne, eds, The New Political Economy of Globalisation (London: Edward Elgar, 2000); Andrew Linklater, International Relations: Critical Perspectives, vol. 4 (London: Routledge: 2000); excerpted in Bernard E. Brown, ed., Comparative Politics: Notes and Readings, 10th Ed., (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 2005);

"Third Try at World Order? America and Multilateralism After the Cold War," Political Science Quarterly, 109 (Fall 1994); also in Demetrios James Caraley and Bonnie B. Hartman, eds, American Leadership, Ethnic Conflict and the New World Politics (New York: Academy of Political Science, 1997);

"The False Premise of Realism," International Security, 20 (Summer 1995); also in Michael E. Brown, et al, eds, Theories of War and Peace (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998);

"At Home Abroad, Abroad At Home: International Liberalization and Domestic Stability in the New World Economy," Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 24 (Winter 1995); longer monograph published as Jean Monnet Chair Papers, 20 (Florence: European University Institute, 1995); excerpted as "Trade, Protectionism and the Future of Welfare Capitalism," Journal of International Affairs, 48 (Summer 1994); also in Richard Higgott and Anthony Payne, eds, The New Political Economy of Globalisation (London: Edward Elgar, 2000); and in Eivind Hovden and Edward Keene, eds, Globalisation of Liberalism (London: Palgrave, 2001);

"Peace in Our Time? Causality, Social Facts, and Narrative Knowing," American Society of International Law, Proceedings, 89th Annual Meeting (1995);

"The Past as Prologue? Interests, Identity, and American Foreign Policy," International Security, 21 (Spring 1997); also in Michael E. Brown, et al, eds, America’s Strategic Choices (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997);

"Globalization and the Embedded Liberalism Compromise: The End of an Era?" in Wolfgang Streeck, ed., Internationale Wirtschaft, Nationale Demokratie (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 1998); German translation in Jahrbuch Arbeit & Technik (Bonn: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 1997);

“What Makes the World Hang Together? Neo-utilitarianism and the Social Constructivist Challenge,” International Organization, 52 (Autumn 1998); also in Peter J. Katzenstein, Robert O. Keohane, and Stephen D. Krasner, eds, Exploration and Contestation in the Study of World Politics (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999); excerpted in Karen Mingst and Jack Snyder, eds, Essential Readings in World Politics (New York: Norton, 2001); also in Harold Hongju Koh and Oona A. Hathaway, Foundations of International Law and Politics (New York: Foundation Press, 2005);

“Global Markets and Social Legitimacy: The Case of the Global Compact” (with Georg Kell), Transnational Corporations, 8 (December 1999); also in Daniel Drache, ed., The Market or the Public Domain? Global Governance and the Asymmetry of Power (London: Routledge, 2001);

“The Theory and Practice of Learning Networks: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Global Compact,” Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 5 (Spring 2002); excerpted as “ The Global Compact as Learning Network,” Global Governance, 7 (October-December 2001); also in Malcolm McIntosh, et al, eds, Learning to Talk: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Global Compact (Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf, 2004);

“Trade, Sustainability and Global Governance,” Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, 27 (No. 2, 2002);

“Taking Embedded Liberalism Global: The Corporate Connection,” in David Held and Mathias Koenig-Archibugi, eds, Taming Globalization: Frontiers of Governance (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003);

“The United Nations and Globalization: Patterns and Limits of Institutional Adaptation,” Global Governance, 9 (Summer 2003);

 “Reconstituting the Global Public Domain: Issues, Actors and Practices,” European Journal of International Relations, 10 (December 2004); also in Paul James, ed., Globalization and Economy (New Delhi: Sage, 2006);

“Transformations in World Politics: The Intellectual Contributions of Ernst B. Haas” (with Peter J. Katzenstein, Robert O. Keohane and Philippe C. Schmitter), in Annual Review of Political Science,        8 (2005);

“American Exceptionalism, Exemptionalism and Global Governance,” in Michael Ignatieff, ed.,      American Exceptionalism and Human Rights (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005);

“Doctrinal Unilateralism and its Limits: America and Global Governance in the New Century, in David P. Forsythe, Patrice C. McMahon, and Andrew Wedeman, eds, American Foreign Policy in a Globalized World (New York: Routledge, 2006);

“Global Markets and Global Governance: The Prospects for Convergence,” in Stephen Bernstein and Louis W. Pauly, eds, Global Governance: Towards a New Grand Compromise? (Albany: State University Press of New York, 2007);

“Business and Human Rights: The Evolving International Agenda,” American Journal of International Law (forthcoming).


“Foreword” to Norman Myers and Julian Simon, Scarcity or Abundance? A Debate on the Environment (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994);

“American Exceptionalism and the U.S. Role in the World,” in Morton H. Halperin, et al, eds, Power and Superpower: Global Leadership and Exceptionalism in the 21st Century (New York: Century Foundation Press, 2007).



Selected Policy Analyses

"Environmental and Resource Interdependencies: Reorganizing for the Evolution of International Regimes" (with Ernst B. Haas), in Report of the Commission on the Organization of Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975);

"The North-South Dialogue: Problems and Prospects of Developing Nations," Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Special Edition (Autumn 1978);

"The Politics of Money," Foreign Policy, 43 (Summer 1981);

"A Political Commentary on Cancun," Third World Quarterly, 4 (July 1982);

"The United States and the United Nations: Toward a New Realism," International Organization, 39 (Spring 1985); also in Paul F. Diehl, ed., The Politics of International Organizations: Patterns and Insights (Chicago: Dorsey Press, 1989); and in Peter A. Toma and Robert F. Gorman, eds, International Relations: A Primer on Understanding Global Issues (Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1991);

"Wandering in the Void: Charting the U.N.'s New Strategic Role," Foreign Affairs, 72 (November/ December 1993); also in William H. Lewis, ed., Peacekeeping: The Way Ahead? (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University, McNair Paper # 25, 1993); in Foreign Affairs Agenda 1994: Critical Issues in Foreign Policy (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1994); and in Charles W. Kegley, Jr., and Eugene R. Wittkopf, eds, The Global Agenda: Issues and Perspectives (New York: McGraw Hill, 1995); Japanese translation in Chuo Koron  (February 1994);

"Peacekeeping and U.S. Interests," Washington Quarterly, 17 (Autumn 1994); also in Brad Roberts, ed., Order and Disorder after the Cold War (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995);

"The United Nations and the Collective Use of Force: Whither -- Or Whether?" International Peacekeeping, 3 (Winter 1996/7); also in Michael Pugh, ed., The UN, Peace and Force (London: Cass, 1997); also published as occasional paper by the United Nations Association of the United States of America (New York: UNA-USA, 1996);

"Consolidating the European Pillar: The Key to NATO's Future," Washington Quarterly, 20 (Winter 1997); also in Quaderni Forum [Florence], 9 (No. 4, 1996);

“Globalization, the Global Compact and Corporate Social Responsibility,” Transnational Associations. 52 (No. 6, 2000);

“Weaving the Global Compact: Sustaining the Single Global Economic Space,” UN Chronicle, 37 (September 2000);

“The UN: Bush’s Newest Ally?” The Nation, December 31, 2001;

“The United States, the United Nations and the Transatlantic Rift,” Annual Lecture of the Transatlantic Programme (Florence: European University Institute, 2003);

“Breaking the Loving Embrace: African Solutions for African Problems,” in Africa Economic Summit 2003: Harnessing the Power of Partnership (Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2003);

“This Crisis of Multilateralism is Different,” The InterDependent, October 2003;

“Marriages of Convenience – But Marriages Nonetheless,” in Susan Stern and Elisabeth Seligman, eds, The Partnership Principle: New Forms of Governance in the 21st Century (London: Archetype, 2004);

“Allegations of Corruption in the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program: How Could this Have Happened?” UNA-USA Policy Brief, No. 3 (June 2004);

“How to Marry Civic Politics and Private Governance,” in The Impact of Corporations on Global Governance: A Report of the Empire and Democracy Project (New York: Center on International Cooperation, NYU, and Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, 2004);

“Interim Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights    and transnational corporations and other business enterprises,” UN Document E/CN.4/2006/97,        22 February 2006;

“Human rights Impact Assessments: Resolving Key Methodological Questions,” UN Document A/HRC/4/74, 5 February 2007;

“Business and Human Rights: Mapping International Standards of Responsibility and Accountability for Corporate Acts,” UN Document A/HRC/4/035, 19 February 2007, with four Addenda.


New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New York Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union, Japan Times, National Herald (New Delhi),; ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox, CNN, NPR, BBC, France 2, Asahi TV (Japan), Al Jazeera.

Major Editorial Responsibilities

Editorial Boards: International Organization, 1976-1981; 1983-1988; 1990-1995; 2002-present; Chair, 1991-1993; World Politics, 1986-1989; Global Governance, 1994-present; Economics & Politics. 1987-1989;

International Advisory Board, European Journal of International Relations, 1994-1998;

General Editor, New Directions in World Politics (formerly The Political Economy of International Change), Columbia University Press series, 1982-1996; 31 books published.

Named Lectures

Malim Harding Lecture in Political Economy, University of Toronto, January 1994; Jean Monnet Lecture, European University Institute, Florence, May 1994; J. Douglas Gibson Lecture in Political Economy, Queens University, Kingston, Canada, November 2000; Sorensen Distinguished Lecture on the United Nations, Council on Foreign Relations, New York, November 2000; Distinguished Lecture in International Affairs, University of Wisconsin, Madison, April 2001; John Templeton Lecture on Globalization, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, April 2002; Miliband Lecture on Global Economic Governance, London School of Economics, June 2002; BP Lecture on Transatlantic Relations, European University Institute, Florence, May 2003; Goldman Sachs Lecture on World Affairs, Georgetown University, April 2004; E.N. Thompson Forum on International Issues/Harris Lecture on Public Policy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, April 2005.

Additional international lectures since 1990: Australian National University, Canberra; Malaysian Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations, Kuala Lumpur; University of Florence; Free University of Berlin; Max Planck Institute, Cologne; Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto; USIS speaking tour of Japan (Sapporo, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kumamoto); Institute of International Relations, Teheran; Seoul Forum, Republic of Korea; Bucerius University, Hamburg; Oxford University; Hertie School of Public Policy, Berlin.

Participant, Annual Meeting, World Economic Forum, Davos: 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004; African Economic Summit, Durban, 2003; China Economic Summit, Beijing, 2003.