Editorial Statement

Transnational Corporations is a longstanding policy-oriented refereed research journal on issues related to investment, multinational enterprises and development. It is an official journal of the United Nations, managed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). As such it has global reach, a strong development policy imprint, and high potential for impact beyond the scholarly community.

Objectives and central terrain

The journal aims to advance academically rigorous research to inform policy dialogue among and across the business, civil society and policymaking communities. Its central research question – feeding into policymaking at subnational, national and international levels – is how international investment and multinational enterprises can contribute to sustainable development. It invites contributions that provide state-of-the-art knowledge and understanding of the activities conducted by, and the impact of multinational enterprises and other international investors, considering economic, legal, institutional, social, environmental or cultural aspects. Only contributions that draw clear policy conclusions from the research findings will be considered.

Grand challenges and the need for multiple lenses

The scale and complexity of the “grand challenges” faced by the international community, such as climate change, poverty, inequality, food security, health crises, and migration – as embodied in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – are enormous. These challenges, combined with the impact of disruptive technologies on business, rapidly evolving trends in international production and global value chains, new emerging-market players and new types of investors and investment, make it imperative that policymakers tap a wide range of research fields. Therefore, the journal welcomes submissions from a variety of disciplines, including international business, innovation, development studies, international law, economics, political science, international finance, political economy and economic geography. However, submissions should be accessible across disciplines (as a non-specialized journal idiosyncratic research should be avoided); interdisciplinary work is especially welcomed. The journal embraces both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and multiple levels of analyses at macro, industry, firm or individual/group level.

Inclusive: multiple contributors, types of contributions and angles

Transnational Corporations aims to provide a bridge between academia and the policymaking community. It publishes academically rigorous, research-underpinned and impactful contributions for evidence-based policymaking, including lessons learned from experiences in different societies and economies, both in developed and developing-country contexts. It welcomes contributions from the academic community, policymakers, research institutes, international organisations, and others. Contributions to the advancement and revision of theories, frameworks and methods are welcomed as long as they are relevant for shedding new light on the investigation of investment for development, such as advancing UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development.

The journal publishes original research articles, perspective papers, state-of-the art review articles, point-counterpoint essays, research notes and book reviews. All papers are double blind reviewed and, in line with the aims and mission of the journal, each paper is reviewed by academic experts and experts from the policymaking community to ensure high-quality impactful publications that are both academically rigorous and policy relevant. In addition, the journal features synopses of major UN reports on investment, and periodic reviews of upcoming investment-related issues of interest to the policy and research community.

Unique benefits for authors: direct impact on policymaking processes

Through UNCTAD’s wider development community and its global network of investment stakeholders, the journal reaches a large audience of academics, business leaders and, above all, policymakers. UNCTAD’s role as the focal point in the United Nations system for investment issues guarantees that the journal’s content gains significant visibility and contribute to debates in global conferences and intergovernmental meetings, including the biennial World Investment Forum and the Investment and Enterprise Commission. The work published in Transnational Corporations feeds directly into UNCTAD’s various programmes related to investment for development, including its flagship product, the annual World Investment Report, and its technical assistance work (investment policies reviews, investment promotion and facilitation and investment treaty negotiations) in over 160 countries and regional organisations. The journal thus provides a unique avenue for authors’ academic work to contribute to, and have an impact on, national and international policymaking.