This chapter challenges stereotypical depictions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a neoliberal discourse and argues that there is a need for greater awareness of the 'varieties of liberalism' at play in CSR. It shows how the work of Michel Foucault and post-Foucauldian studies on neoliberalism can be used to disentangle ideological strands in the CSR debate that are often jumbled together, but which differ from each other in important ways. While the chapter distinguishes between four varieties of liberalism, its main analytical focus is how understandings of CSR informed by classical liberalism are different from understandings embodying a neoliberal mind-set. It argues that the foremost exemplars of a neoliberal imagination in the broad field of CSR are Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, who, with their work on strategic CSR/creating shared value, are explicitly turning social responsibility into an economic value proposition. Overall, the chapter makes a contribution toward clarifying the political language with which we can speak about different approaches to CSR.

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Vallentin , Steen; Murillo Bonveh, David

CSR and the neoliberal imagination

2019
This chapter challenges stereotypical depictions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a neoliberal discourse and argues that there is a need for greater awareness of the 'varieties of liberalism' at play in CSR. It shows how the work of Michel Foucault and post-Foucauldian studies on neoliberalism can be used to disentangle ideological strands in the CSR debate that are often jumbled together, but which differ from each other in important ways. While the chapter distinguishes between four varieties of liberalism, its main analytical focus is how understandings of CSR informed by classical liberalism are different from understandings embodying a neoliberal mind-set. It argues that the foremost exemplars of a neoliberal imagination in the broad field of CSR are Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, who, with their work on strategic CSR/creating shared value, are explicitly turning social responsibility into an economic value proposition. Overall, the chapter makes a contribution toward clarifying the political language with which we can speak about different approaches to CSR.
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CSR and the neoliberal imagination
Vallentin , Steen; Murillo Bonveh, David
In Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Change
Berln (Germany): Springer, 2019
p. 43 - 59
Ethical Economy: Economic ethics and philosophy; ; n 57

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