Corporate Social Responsibility:: A Promising Social Innovation or a Neoliberal Strategy in Disguise?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Since the Lisbon Summit the European Union has become resolute in its intention to promote the uptake of corporate social responsibility among European companies. The recent financial crisis has provided further impetus for evangelising CSR, which is identified by the EU public authorities as one exit strategy from the crisis and a promising means of fulfilling the Treaty objectives of inclusive and sustainable social market economy. This paper finds the above assertion problematic and uses a Polanyian framework to evaluate its validity. The paper represents a conceptual intervention in the policy justification provided by the European Commission. Contrary to the overly optimistic voices that see decommodifying tendencies within CSR, this paper claims that CSR does not have a potential to re-embed the economy as argued by the Commission. Despite its protective invocation, CSR is predicated on deepened commodification. It depends on the staging of a special type of exchange relation, whereby reputation is quantified and sold as a commodity by being denominated in a common unit. As such the CSR form promoted by the Commission is a microeconomic counterpart to the regime of rule-based macroeconomic depoliticisation.
LanguageEnglish
Pages63-80
JournalRomanian Journal of European Affairs
Volume14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

social market economy
microeconomics
staging
public authorities
social responsibility
European Commission
treaty
financial crisis
macroeconomics
reputation
commodity
EU
regime
innovation
economy
Social innovation
Corporate Social Responsibility

Keywords

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • European Union
  • Polanyi
  • disembedded
  • commodification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Business and International Management

Cite this

@article{f1e2c522e8864b32b94f37ec81d34978,
title = "Corporate Social Responsibility:: A Promising Social Innovation or a Neoliberal Strategy in Disguise?",
abstract = "Since the Lisbon Summit the European Union has become resolute in its intention to promote the uptake of corporate social responsibility among European companies. The recent financial crisis has provided further impetus for evangelising CSR, which is identified by the EU public authorities as one exit strategy from the crisis and a promising means of fulfilling the Treaty objectives of inclusive and sustainable social market economy. This paper finds the above assertion problematic and uses a Polanyian framework to evaluate its validity. The paper represents a conceptual intervention in the policy justification provided by the European Commission. Contrary to the overly optimistic voices that see decommodifying tendencies within CSR, this paper claims that CSR does not have a potential to re-embed the economy as argued by the Commission. Despite its protective invocation, CSR is predicated on deepened commodification. It depends on the staging of a special type of exchange relation, whereby reputation is quantified and sold as a commodity by being denominated in a common unit. As such the CSR form promoted by the Commission is a microeconomic counterpart to the regime of rule-based macroeconomic depoliticisation.",
keywords = "Corporate social responsibility, European Union, Polanyi, disembedded, commodification",
author = "Maja Savevska",
year = "2014",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "63--80",
journal = "Romanian Journal of European Affairs",
issn = "1582-8271",
publisher = "European Institute of Romania",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Corporate Social Responsibility:

T2 - Romanian Journal of European Affairs

AU - Savevska,Maja

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Since the Lisbon Summit the European Union has become resolute in its intention to promote the uptake of corporate social responsibility among European companies. The recent financial crisis has provided further impetus for evangelising CSR, which is identified by the EU public authorities as one exit strategy from the crisis and a promising means of fulfilling the Treaty objectives of inclusive and sustainable social market economy. This paper finds the above assertion problematic and uses a Polanyian framework to evaluate its validity. The paper represents a conceptual intervention in the policy justification provided by the European Commission. Contrary to the overly optimistic voices that see decommodifying tendencies within CSR, this paper claims that CSR does not have a potential to re-embed the economy as argued by the Commission. Despite its protective invocation, CSR is predicated on deepened commodification. It depends on the staging of a special type of exchange relation, whereby reputation is quantified and sold as a commodity by being denominated in a common unit. As such the CSR form promoted by the Commission is a microeconomic counterpart to the regime of rule-based macroeconomic depoliticisation.

AB - Since the Lisbon Summit the European Union has become resolute in its intention to promote the uptake of corporate social responsibility among European companies. The recent financial crisis has provided further impetus for evangelising CSR, which is identified by the EU public authorities as one exit strategy from the crisis and a promising means of fulfilling the Treaty objectives of inclusive and sustainable social market economy. This paper finds the above assertion problematic and uses a Polanyian framework to evaluate its validity. The paper represents a conceptual intervention in the policy justification provided by the European Commission. Contrary to the overly optimistic voices that see decommodifying tendencies within CSR, this paper claims that CSR does not have a potential to re-embed the economy as argued by the Commission. Despite its protective invocation, CSR is predicated on deepened commodification. It depends on the staging of a special type of exchange relation, whereby reputation is quantified and sold as a commodity by being denominated in a common unit. As such the CSR form promoted by the Commission is a microeconomic counterpart to the regime of rule-based macroeconomic depoliticisation.

KW - Corporate social responsibility

KW - European Union

KW - Polanyi

KW - disembedded

KW - commodification

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 63

EP - 80

JO - Romanian Journal of European Affairs

JF - Romanian Journal of European Affairs

SN - 1582-8271

IS - 2

ER -