CSR and the limits of capital

Peter Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution locates the contemporary debate about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and development within ongoing historical struggles to define the appropriate relationship between business and society. It questions the ‘fetishization’ of regulation as a palliative on the grounds of the assumptions it makes about the nature and capacity of states, markets and civil society alike to deliver effective reform, and the division it presumes between the interests of the state and capital in particular. It identifies CSR as a response to a legitimacy crisis within contemporary neoliberalism in general, one faced by global corporations in particular as its most public face, but one which potentially distracts our attention from the interventions which are necessary to address the twin challenges of alleviating poverty and achieving sustainability. Issues of distribution, mobility and consumption are identified as examples of areas of active neglect in the CSR field that deserve more attention if corporations are to make a greater contribution to poverty alleviation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1078
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopment and Change
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

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