Corporate social responsibility, collaboration and depoliticisation

Barthold, Charles (2013). Corporate social responsibility, collaboration and depoliticisation. Business Ethics: A European Review, 22(4) pp. 393–403.



This article offers an engagement of the ethics of Badiou, one of the most significant representatives of contemporary continental philosophy, with the question of corporate social responsibility. First, this article displays an account of the complex ethical thinking of Badiou. Then, it seeks to show how Badiou's thought offers an important and distinctive critique of corporate social responsibility as ideology. Precisely, the two main features of the ideological discourse of corporate social responsibility are collaboration and depoliticisation. The Badiouan critique provides a performative efficacy against the seductions of corporate social responsibility discourse within the framework of a universalist ethics. Therefore, a Badiouan analysis argues that an ethical life is incompatible with corporate social responsibility.

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