Corporate social responsibility: Towards a new market-embedded morality?

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Abstract

Recent years have seen abundant literature, in law and the social sciences, addressing the significance of "soft law," "self-regulation, " and "private law-making" and analyzing the potential implications of "governance" in general for the trajectory of law. This Article is grounded in and oriented towards this broad theoretical and conceptual terrain by pointing at empirical phenomena that mark a shift towards market-embedded forms of social regulation. I specifically discuss the Equator Principles, a self-regulatory blueprint for overseeing the social and environmental performance of project-finance initiatives. I argue for an understanding of the process in terms of a general moralization of markets, in and of itself a product of neo-liberal conceptions of governance. I posit that one implication of this process is that socially-oriented norm-making and norm-enforcement merge with the instrumental and utilitarian logic of markets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalTheoretical inquiries in law
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2008

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