14. Corporate citizenship: a critique


Organizer: Pedro Frances,

This track aims to engage papers exploring the many ways in which corporations are unable to assume the role of governments and how MNC use  discourse strategies to legitimize themselves partly on the argument that they do contribute to solve societal problems. The movement of ‘corporate citizenship’ needs to be re-evaluated in the face of the multiple shortcomings, deceptions and instrumental uses it involves. So far, this movement has not shown that MNC can operate a real change in the absence of politically backed laws and State power. Fleming and Jones (2012) seem right in warning that the notion of a private, hierarchical, authoritarian institution –the dictatorship among us (Anderson 2017)– such as the MNC, exhibiting an interest in furthering democracy is truly problematic. Rather than trusting on the voluntary evolution of the ‘corporate souls’, what is required is “some sort of power that confronts business” (Frank 2001).