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Corporate Social Responsibility?

Human Rights in the New Global Economy

With this book, Charlotte Walker-Said and John D. Kelly have assembled an essential toolkit to better understand how the notoriously ambiguous concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) functions in practice within different disciplines and settings. Bringing together cutting-edge scholarship from leading figures in human rights programs around the United States, they vigorously engage some of the major political questions of our age: what is CSR, and how might it render positive political change in the real world?
The book examines the diverse approaches to CSR, with a particular focus on how those approaches are siloed within discrete disciplines such as business, law, the social sciences, and human rights. Bridging these disciplines and addressing and critiquing all the conceptual domains of CSR, the book also explores how CSR silos develop as a function of the competition between different interests. Ultimately, the contributors show that CSR actions across all arenas of power are interdependent, continually in dialogue, and mutually constituted. Organizing a diverse range of viewpoints, this book offers a much-needed synthesis of a crucial element of today’s globalized world and asks how businesses can, through their actions, make it better for everyone. 

392 pages | 3 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2015

African Studies

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Law and Legal Studies: Law and Society


"Highlights the broad range of activities that fall within CSR and usefully documents the impact of CSR on the broader human rights movement and its incursions into areas such as criminal and humanitarian law that are underexplored."

Business Ethics Quarterly

"This interdisciplinary collection contains an interesting array of different outlooks."

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“The editors do a great job in assembling interdisciplinary expertise to give a nuanced examination of the development of codes of conduct for corporate social responsibility; this is a volume that could not be timelier considering the growing role of corporations at the heart of governance innovations both at home and abroad.”

David Chandler, author of Resilience: The Governance of Complexity

“This edited collection presents a much-needed interdisciplinary perspective on the accomplishments and weaknesses of corporate social responsibility, offering sound theoretical contributions and in-depth case studies. The CSR trend in business is so well established that it is time for trenchant, informed criticism such as is found here.”

Cynthia Williams, coeditor of The Embedded Firm

"Corporate Social Responsibility? focuses on the corporation’s growing role in global governance, and specifically on how its mandates for economic growth do and should interface with progressive human rights agendas.This volume intervenes in a broad literature that more often frames neoliberalism 'as a contest between marketeconomies and nonmarket values' (p. 8). . . . These essays instead complicate understandings of ‘corporate responsibility’ and ‘corporate citizenship’ to dismantle the presumed market/society duality. Rather than consider neoliberalism as abstract economic policy, the authors take a valuable on-the-ground approach that includes case studies of the apparel, mining, oil, and tobacco industries and their operations in diverse locales."

Political and Legal Anthropology Review

Table of Contents

John D. Kelly

Chapter 1. Introduction: Power, Profit, and Social Trust
Charlotte Walker-Said

PART I. Corporate Social Responsibility as Controlled Negotiation: The Hierarchy of Values
Charlotte Walker- Said

Chapter 2. Two Cheers for CSR
Peter Rosenblum

Chapter 3. Assessing Corporate Social Responsibility in the Tobacco Industry
Peter Benson

Chapter 4. Transparency, Auditability, and the Contradictions of CSR
Anna Zalik

Chapter 5. Virtuous Language in Industry and the Academy
Stuart Kirsch

PART II. Corporate Social Responsibility and the Mandate to Remedy: Between Empowerment and Mitigating Vulnerabilities
Caroline Kaeb

Chapter 6. An Emerging History of CSR: The Economic Trials at Nuremberg (1945– 49) 125
Jonathan A. Bush

Chapter 7. The Impact of the War Crimes Tribunals on Corporate Liability for Atrocity Crimes under US Law
David Scheffer

Chapter 8. Sanction and Socialize: Military Command Responsibility and Corporate Accountability for Atrocities
Scott A. Gilmore

Chapter 9. Law, Morality, and Rational Choice: Incentives for CSR Compliance
Caroline Kaeb

Chapter 10. Multistakeholder Initiative Anatomy: Understanding Institutional Design and Development
Amelia Evans

Chapter 11. The Virtue of Voluntarism: Human Rights, Corporate Responsibility, and UN Global Compact
Ursula Wynhoven
Yousuf Aftab

PART III. Africa as CSR Laboratory: Twenty- First- Century Corporate Strategy and State Building
Charlotte Walker- Said

Chapter 12. CSR and Corporate Engagement with Parties to Armed Conflicts
William Reno

Chapter 13. Corporate and State Sustainability in Africa: The Politics of Stability in the Postrevolutionary Age
Charlotte Walker- Said

Chapter 14. Tender Is the Mine: Law, Shadow Rule, and the Public Gaze in Ghana
Lauren Coyle

Chapter 15. Corporate Social Responsibility and Latecomer Industrialization in Nigeria
Richard Joseph, Kelly Spence, and Abimbola Agboluaje

Final Thoughts and Acknowledgments
John D. Kelly and Charlotte Walker- Said


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