Israel vs. BDS: corporate social responsibility and the politics of human rights

Tamar Barkay, Ronen Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is a case-study of an organized Israeli effort to disengage the issue of corporations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories from the global CSR framework of human rights. At the centre of the study are three international CSR conferences which took place in Israel, hosting players in the global industry of corporate risk-management indices. The study underscores the importance of studying the micro-politics of producing and implementing human rights norms across the globe; designating micro-politics as the sum of informal exchanges among players who share a common platform of expertise. We find that the Israeli conveners leveraged the CSR conferences to (1) promote a campaign against BDS among CSR players, (2) invoke BDS as a trope for dissociating the human rights framework of CSR from corporate activities in the OPT, and (3) frame the activities of corporations in the OPT in terms of labour opportunities and economic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-713
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - 18 May 2020


  • BDS
  • CSR
  • ESG criteria
  • Israel-Palestine conflict
  • OPT
  • human rights


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