The Open UniversitySkip to content

From corporate social responsibility to the democratic regulation of transnational corporations

Humphreys, David (2009). From corporate social responsibility to the democratic regulation of transnational corporations. International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Social and Economic Sustainability, 5(4) pp. 207–218.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (1MB)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This publication examines the role of transnational corporations in governance and critically evaluates the dominant self-regulatory approach of corporate social responsibility (CSR). By placing the onus for change on the corporation, CSR represents an agent-led approach to a systemic problem, and as such it is flawed. After distinguishing between the ideas of CSR and corporate accountability, the latter of which emphasises the answerability of the corporation to public authorities and citizens, the publication then offers an original model for the democratic regulation of the corporation. The model proposes, first, the negotiation of a new corpus of international law to be agreed by states but ratified by those corporations that wish to trade or invest internationally and, second, the reinvigoration of the public charter as an active instrument of public control. The model aims to provide a nested framework within which corporations can trade and compete, while restoring to local communities final decision making authority on the conditions under which corporations may, or may not, operate. Some possible objections to the model are anticipated and addressed.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2009 Unknown
ISSN: 1832-2077
Keywords: Accountability; Charter; Limited Liability; Neoliberalism; Rationality; Responsibility;
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 17217
Depositing User: Users 4807 not found.
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2009 09:52
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2018 23:22
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU