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The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibilityby David Vogel
Synopses & Reviews
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 one 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 todayandrsquo;s globalized world and asks how businesses can, through their actions, make it better for everyone.and#160;
In the highly praised The Market for Virtue, David Vogel presents a clear, balanced analysis of the contemporary corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement in the United States and Europe. In this updated paperback edition, Vogel discusses recent CSR initiatives and responds to new developments in the CSR debate. He asserts that while the movement has achieved success in improving some labor, human rights, and environmental practices in developing countries, there are limits to improving corporate conduct without more extensive and effective government regulation. Put simply, Vogel believes that there is a market for virtue, but it is limited by the substantial costs of socially responsible business behavior. Praise for the cloth edition: " The definitive guide to what corporate social responsibility can and cannot accomplish in a modern capitalist economy." Robert B. Reich, Brandeis University, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor " Vogel raises a number of excellent points on the present and future of CSR." Working Knowledge, Harvard Business School " A useful corrective to the view that CSR alone is the full answer to social problems." Business Ethics " The study combines sound logic with illustrative cases, and advances the sophistication of the CSR debate considerably." John G. Ruggie, Harvard University, co-architect of UN Global Compact
Questions surrounding the relationship between corporations and human rights prompted the ethnographers, legal scholars, and practitioners who contributed to the present volume to collaborate across disciplines to investigate the current codes and practices of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The volume presents CSR as a series of economic and political strategies that are shifting the focus of international human rights activism and signaling the rise of new forms of global governance. Part I is broadly speaking on actual CSR institutions. The contributors here explore CSR as a set of relations of communication and coercion. They draw on the latest CSR initiatives of corporations to analyze what current and emergent CSR strategies and#147;meanand#8221; for human rights. In Part II legal scholars articulate various global visions for the improvement of the human condition via robust assessments of corporate social responsibility. The contributors specifically discuss the strategies of lawyers and litigants who seek remedy to the lack of CSR or the distortion of CSR by corporations. Part III turns to CSR in Africa. Here a number of Africanists in history, anthropology, and political science examine the dilemmas, inconsistencies, and possibilities for the future of CSR as it increasingly impacts state sovereignty and human rights. The chapters reveal what the practice of CSR has become in a globalized economy and contextualize the results of litigation, increased surveillance, development partnerships, and institutional and social engagement. Eschewing easy answers, the volume probes CSR as theory and practice, outlining the challenges and possibilities for human rights in a world where corporate power is on the rise.
About the Author
Charlotte Walker-Said is a historian of modern Africa and assistant professor of Africana studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York.and#160;
John D. Kelly is professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, where he serves on the faculty board of the Human Rights Program. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of several books. and#160;
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