Department of Management, Society and Communication
Business & Human Rights
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), governance and public-private regulation
Sustainable natural resource sourcing, governance and certification
Transnational law and sustainability governance and Transnational Business Governance
Development and law (esp. East Asia)
My research and teaching focus on sustainability with a particular emphasis on social issues, especially Business Responsibilities for Human Rights, labour standards, and social aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility (including social aspects of environmental sustainability and climate change, for example living conditions, health, access to food and land).
I approach these issues from the perspective of public governance and public-private regulation, analysing how public and private organisations may work together to address global concerns related to sustainable human development and how public-private collaboration add to and result from a transnationalisation of sustainability governance and diverse forms of soft and hard law and guidance as well as specific processes, in particular social risk-based due diligence. With a background in international and public law I take a pragmatic approach to these issues, applying methods and theories from the social sciences to understand normative developments.
My recent research and teaching have addressed the evolution of the Business & Human Rights (BHR) regime, in particular the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Global Compact from the perspectives of discourse theory and systems theory; CSR reporting as a driver for organisational change; Transnational Business Governance Interaction; and sustainable forestry in East and South East Asia between law and the market. I also work on the implementation of the normative standards I the BHR regime through pro-active measures such as social risk-based due diligence, state and non-state accountability measures such as National Contact Points under OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; EU policy and guidance on CSR and responsible sourcing; transparency and the market as drivers for responsible sourcing; certification and legality.
My research interests also include law and development and law reforms for human rights and social progress, particularly but not only focusing on China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan; and conflict resolution through alternative dispute resolution and mediation.
In 2012 I was appointed a member of the Danish National Contact Point under OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (in Danish ‘Mæglings- og klageinstitutionen for ansvarlig virksomhedsadfærd’) upon nomination by the Danish civil society network 92-gruppen. In 2015 the appointment was renewed.
I chair The BHRight Initiative for interdisciplinary research and teaching on Business & Human Rights, which was established at CBS in March 2014 in the context of an Explanatory Workshop funded by the European Research Foundation.
In my research and networking I benefit from my previous work experience as an associate attorney in a law firm and as a civil servant in the Danish public administration, working with immigration issues under the Ministry of Justice and with human rights in development under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Danida.
Languages (teaching and supervision): Danish (mother tongue), English
I am responsible for and teach at these courses:
- Introduction to Sustainable Business (anchored at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, CBS)
- Business & Human Rights: Governance, Leadership and Management (anchored at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, CBS)
- Business Responsibilities for Human Rights (anchored at the Department for Business & Politics, CBS)
- I co-teach at other courses on CSR and/sustainability, including:
Scandinavian Sustainability & CSR (anchored at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, CBS, taught with Professor Jeremy Moon)
Business & Human Rights
Social Responsibility/Corporate Social Responsibility (especially normative issues; regulatory strategies; standards and certification; private, public and public-private schemes)
Sustainable human development
Transnational sustainability governance
Transnational Business governance
Sustainable natural resource sourcing
International labour standards and working conditions
Previous teaching includes: Stakeholder analysis (Roskilde University); International Labour law and Corporate Social Responsibility (University of Copenhagen); International Labour Law at Elite Master in Management, Economics & Law (CBS & University of Copenhagen); Human Rights & International Development (University of Copenhagen);
CSR in China (as Visiting Lecturer at the Global Governance Centre at Konincklijcke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
Buhmann, K. (2015) Public regulators and CSR: The ‘Social Licence to Operate’ in recent United Nations instruments on Business and Human Rights and the juridification of CSR, Journal of Business Ethics DOI 10.1007/s10551-015-2869-9
Buhmann, K. (2015) Business and Human Rights: Understanding the UN Guiding Principles from the perspective of Transnational Business Governance Interactions. Transnational Legal Theory Vol. 6 No 1 (2015), DOI 10.1080/20414005.2015.1073516
Buhmann, K. (2015) ‘Defying territorial limitations: Regulating business conduct extraterritorially through establishing obligations in EU law and national law’. In: Direct Human Rights Obligations of Corporations (eds. Jernej Letnar Cernic and T. Van Ho), The Hague: Wolf Publishers: 281-302
Buhmann, K. (2014) Normative discourses and public-private regulatory strategies for construction of CSR normativity: Towards a method for above-national public-private regulation of business social responsibilities. 850 pages (Volume 1) + 316 pages Annexes (Volume 2). Published post-doc thesis (Danish ‘doktordisputats’, successfully defended for the degree Dr.Scient.Adm., at Roskilde University on 20 June 2014). Copenhagen: Multivers publishing
Buhmann, K. (2012) Business and Human Rights: Analysing Discursive Articulation of Stakeholder Interests to Explain the Consensus-based Construction of the ‘Protect, Respect, Remedy UN Framework’. International Law Research, Vol. 1, Issue 1: 88-101, DOI: 10.5539/ilr.v1n1p88, electronically available through http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ilr/article/view/21663
Buhmann, K. (2013) The Danish CSR reporting requirement as reflexive law: Employing CSR as a modality to promote public policy. European Business Law Review, Issue 2: 187-216
Buhmann, K. (2012) Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? The Lundbeck case of Pentobarbital, the Guiding Principles on business and human rights, and competing human rights responsibilities. International Journal of Law, Ethics and Medicine, Summer 2012: 206-219
Buhmann, K. & Iben Nathan (2013) Plentiful forests, happy people? The EU’s FLEGT approach and its impact on human rights and private forestry sustainability schemes. Nordic Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2: 53-82
Buhmann, K. (2001) Implementing Human Rights through Administrative Law Reforms: The Potential in China and Vietnam. 608 pages. DJØF Publishing, Copenhagen 2001
In: Perspectives on Philosophy of Management and Business Ethics: Including a Special Section on Business and Human Rights . . ed. /Jacob Dahl Rendtorff. Cham : Springer 2017, p. 281-295 (Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy, No. 2, Vol. 51)
In: Conference Proceedings: The 4th International Conference on Responsible Leadership Leadership Challenges that Matter 15 & 16 March 2017 . Pretoria : Gordon Institute of Business Science 2017, 1 p.
In: Økonomi og Politik, Vol. 89, No. 1, 2016, p. 18-22
In: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 136, No. 4, 2016, p. 699-714
In: The Routledge Handbook of Responsible Investment. ed. /Tessa Hebb; James P. Hawley; Andreas G. F. Hoepner; Agnes L. Neher; David Wood. Abingdon : Routledge 2016, p. 317-326 (Routledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting)
In: Transnational Legal Theory, Vol. 6, No. 2, 15.9.2015, p. 399-434
In: Human Rights and Business: Direct Corporate Accountability for Human Rights. . ed. /Jernej Letnar Cernic; Tara Van Ho. Oisterwijk : Wolf Legal Publishers 2015, p. 281-302
In: Journal of Business Ethics Education, Vol. 12, No. Special issue, 2015, p. 4-42
In: International and Comparative Corporate Law Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2015, p. 194-228
København : Karnov Group 2015, 432 p.
In: Law and Legitimacy. ed. /Per Andersen; Cecilie Eriksen; Bjarke Viskum. Copenhagen : Djøf / Jurist- og Økonomforbundet 2015, p. 101-124
In: ICASS VIII: Book of Abstracts. Prince George, BC : University of Northern British Columbia 2014, p. 12
www : SSRN: Social Science Research Network 2014, 29 p. (Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper, No. 20/2014)
Paper presented at The 13th Participatory Design Conference 2014, 2014
In: Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Industry Cases, Workshop Descriptions, Doctoral Consortium papers, and Keynote abstracts - Volume 2 . . ed. /Heike Winschiers-Theophilus; Vincenzo D'Andrea; Ole Sejer Iversen. New York : Association for Computing Machinery 2014, p. 63-66 (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series)
København : Multivers 2014, 650 p.
Paper presented at Business and Human Rights, 2014
Paper presented at EBEN Research Conference 2014, 2014
In: The Balanced Company: Organizing for the 21st Century. . ed. /Inger Jensen; John Damm Scheuer; Jacob Dahl Rendtorff. Farnham : Gower Publishing Ltd 2013, p. 81-108
In: Business and Human Rights. ed. /Manoj Kumar Sinha. New Dehli : Sage Publications, Incorporated 2013
In: Human Rights Obligations of Business: Beyond the Corporate Responsibility to Respect?. . ed. /Surya Deva; David Bilchitz. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press 2013, p. 29-57
Frederiksberg : Center for Business and Development Studies. CBS 2016, 35 p. (CBDS Working Paper Series, No. 26)
Paper presented at 10th Anniversary Conference of the European Society of International Law, 2014
København : Multivers 2014, 316 p.
In: Kinabladet, Vol. 17, No. 72, 2016, p. 12-13
2015, 13 p.
2015, 20 p.