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Abstract

Banks might now seem odd candidates for the role of global sustainability regulator. Nonetheless, in limited areas of their operation, where global banks kept risk on their balance sheets and were financially exposed to many types of risk often otherwise treated as “externalities,” banks began to enact policies to encourage what they construe as “sustainable” banking. A small number of these banks have started to extend these principles of responsible action more broadly, across many of their business lines, as conditions of lending to their corporate clients. To this extent, it is possible to talk about (some) global banks as global sustainability regulators. The “law of unintended consequences” as used in the legal literature almost always refers to the unintended negative consequences of a regulation or policy. In this article, however, we discuss a potentially positive unintended consequence of the deregulatory and privatization trend of the 1980s and 1990s that was fueled by neoliberal political commitments: some private banks have taken a leadership role in regulating development. Specifically, these banks are enacting policies that attempt to mitigate the potentially negative social and environmental consequences of infrastructure development in politically unstable or environmentally fragile landscapes. The vehicle for doing this is a voluntary agreement called the Equator Principles (EPs). The article describes and analyzes the EPs and reports the initial results from an interview‐based study of the various EPs stakeholders, including bankers, government officials, lawyers, consultants, and critics from nongovernmental organizations. We address - from the perspective of these stakeholders - such questions as why the participating banks decided to join the EPs, what effects, if any, the EPs are having on development practice, and whether the EPs will ultimately prove to be more than a public relations exercise.

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... Before sustainability was a serious issue, banks were wrapped around common but impractical paradigms of risk management that presumed no single institution could influence the market (Ashby, 2019). With that said, extremely difficult and complicated links of systemic risk was established by a small number of giant global banks and its facilitators, which has yet to be entirely undone (Conley & Williams, 2011). However, these banks have come to a point where they could not tolerate such complicated series of systemic risk because of developments in one specific area in finance: project finance. ...
... However, these banks have come to a point where they could not tolerate such complicated series of systemic risk because of developments in one specific area in finance: project finance. This area involves providing private funding for big projects involving the building of infrastructure that're sponsored privately, from power plants to oil/gas pipelines and telecommunications (Conley & Williams, 2011). The kinds of risks involved in project finance range from operating and building of facilities on project site and reliability of technology to the legislative structure of the host nation and the state of the financial market (Eisenbach et al., 2014). ...
... Moreover, there exists a variety of communication problems due to the underdeveloped and underinformed environmental and social vocabulary of investors. The EPs have helped immensely in solving these communication troubles and greatly increased interactivity with non-government organizations (NGOs) and sponsors of projects (Conley & Williams, 2011). ...
Article
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Financial institutions have a huge part to play when it comes to dealing with social and environmental issues. In the past, the impractical models of risk management did not take into consideration environmental or social risks, and these accumulated to form complicated links of systemic risk especially in project finance. After enough sustainability awareness had been developed, banks rose to adopt the Equator Principles code of conduct, which overtime, allowed them to reduce the environmental and social risks and find ways to achieve greater reputation and benefits, abandoning the ways of the past. Moving onwards to the future, technology came into the picture and green fintech now holds a key role in achieving next-level financial sustainability of the current generation. This paper aims to report on the impact of sustainability on financial institutions by investigating related literature and looking at how the Equator Principles impacted financial institutions. Green Fintech will also be explored, specifically in the ways it can impact financial institutions.
... A crucial issue for banks engaged in CSR is their CEP. Indeed, many recent studies have underlined the key role that they can play in environmental regulation and governance worldwide (Conley and Williams, 2011;Coulson, 2009). Moreover, awareness is growing in the financial sector that the environment is a source of both risks and opportunities for the banking industry ( Jeucken and Bouma, 1999;Weber et al., 2008). ...
... More recently, banks have even developed green products and services and responsible funds that invest in green companies (Benson and Humphrey, 2008;Chih et al., 2010;Prior and Argandoña, 2009). In some regards, they have been qualified by some researchers as environmental regulators because of the tremendous power they wield with their investment and credit activities (Conley and Williams, 2011;Scholtens, 2006). ...
Article
Purpose: The banking industry plays a key role in society because of its role as a financial intermediary. Today’s banks are being asked to endorse environmental objectives, and recent studies have shown that large banks with strong financial performance are more likely to engage in environmental actions. Thus, our paper investigates the link between corporate financial performance (CFP) and corporate environmental performance (CEP). Design/methodology/approach: We focused on the French banking sector, using the data from a sample consisting of 191 observations covering 68 banks from 2008 to 2011. The environmental scores from the Vigeo database were our proxy measures for the extent to which banks engage in environmental actions. A panel regression model was employed for this study. Findings: Our findings show that high CFP was associated with high CEP. Our findings also reveal that CFP and CEP may strengthen each other, suggesting a complex bidirectional relationship. Originality/value: While many studies have examined whether it pays to be green, thus focusing on the causal relationship from CEP to CFP, few have considered that the causal direction might be reversed, from CFP to CEP. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to analyze the CFP to CEP relationship using French bank data. Key words: Banking industry, corporate environmental performance (CEP), corporate financial performance (CFP), corporate social responsibility (CSR).
... A crucial issue for banks engaged in CSR is their CEP. Indeed, many recent studies have underlined the key role that they can play in environmental regulation and governance worldwide (Conley and Williams, 2011;Coulson, 2009). Moreover, awareness is growing in the financial sector that the environment is a source of both risks and opportunities for the banking industry ( Jeucken and Bouma, 1999;Weber et al., 2008). ...
... More recently, banks have even developed green products and services and responsible funds that invest in green companies (Benson and Humphrey, 2008;Chih et al., 2010;Prior and Argandoña, 2009). In some regards, they have been qualified by some researchers as environmental regulators because of the tremendous power they wield with their investment and credit activities (Conley and Williams, 2011;Scholtens, 2006). ...
... and development by enacting policies that attempt to mitigate the potentially negative social and environmental consequences of infrastructure development in politically unstable or environmentally fragile landscapes"(Conley & Williams, 2011). The vehicle for doing this is a voluntary agreement called the Equator Principles (EPs). ...
... The significance of the principles is to project financing is that it impact the way and manner project finance takes place in emerging market. Since adopting the principles, the bank has been undertaking sustainable financing by conducting robust assessments of the environmental impacts of businesses to be financed in order to ensure that the project does not harm and degrade the environment(Conley & Williams, 2011). By so doing, the bank is promoting and practising voluntary sustainable green lending, financing and development in South Africa. ...
Article
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Global warming and climate change continue to disrupt the environment and all aspects of people's endeavors and as such, there is need to look at causes of climate change and deploy appropriate tools to address the problem of the scourge of climate change. Banks hold a pivotal position in the economy of any country. Apart from being the custodian of money, they also collaborate with the government and international financial institutions to perform various roles that shape the direction of the world's economy in terms of growth and development. Against the backdrop of this, this article looks at banks as part of the appropriate tools that should constantly be used to address and reduce the influence of fossil fuels that are fuelling global warming and climate change and switch to more sustainable green economy. In order to achieve this, there should be radical acceleration in advancing credit and loan facilities by banks to fund green projects and investments in order to decarbonize the economy, and at the same time maintain sustainable economic growth and development.
... A separate area for investigating the role of banks CSRs is the study of its impact on traditional bank- ing operations and its business strategy (Jeucken & Bouma, 1999), on the establishment of specific benchmarks for sustainable development, which create marks for this activity (Weber, 2005), its role in supporting financial stability (Nieto, 2017); directions of global regulation of sustainable de- velopment with the help of the largest banks of the world (Conley & Williams, 2011) and central banks (Sheng, 2015). ...
... In summary, most of the empirical studies on CSR impact on the activities of banks for fi- nancing sustainable development can be sum- marized in the following areas: 1) studying the impact of the implementation of CSR meas- ures on the bank activities to change strate- gic orientations and constructing/transform- ing various business strategies (Calabrese & Lancioni, 2008;Porter & Kramer, 2006;Sen & Bhattacharya, 2001); 2) analysis of the rela- tionship between CSR and the financial perfor- mance of banks (Soana, 2011;Scholtens, 2009;Wu & Shen, 2013;Ahmed et al., 2012;Paulík et al., 2015;Broccardo et al., 2017); 3) the im- pact of CSR on relations with stakeholders ( Bhattacharya et al., 2009;Jones, 1995;Sharma & Vredenburg, 1998;Dam & Scholtens, 2012), 4) the impact of the CSR mechanism on the bank financing of investment in sustainable development (Sheng, 2015;Weber, 2005;Nieto, 2017;Conley & Williams, 2011). ...
Article
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Significant gap in investment resources for financing Sustainable Development Goals can be overcome with the revitalization of the corporate social responsibility mechanism of the financial sector institutions, for example banks and stock exchanges as the largest players in the global financial sector. The most relevant for them are Goals 1, 5, 8, 10, 13, 17. Incorporating these goals into activities of the financial sector institutions requires not only the activation of their CSR mechanism in the directions indicated by the targets, but also the radical restructuring of all business processes and the reorientation of their overall sustainability strategy. Analysis of current sustainability reporting disclosure by financial sector institutions in global and regional aspects was conducted. Based on the analysis, the authors define the role of CSRs of banks and stock exchanges in SDG financing as follows: banks – ensuring their own sustainability and efficiency through CSR mechanisms, formation of new tools, methods and technologies of financial support of SDG; stock exchanges – minimization of information asymmetry in investor decision making, taking into consideration ESG criteria, formation of exemplary disclosure practices and new markets and market benchmarks by listing companies.
... A number of studies have focused on the economic motivations and rationales behind adoption and commitment, with different self-regulatory codes of conduct for ESG risks in the project finance market (Wright and Rwabizambuga, 2006;Chih et al., 2010;W€ orsd€ orfer, 2015;Conley and Williams, 2011). The existing studies find that the main impetuses of financial institutions are primarily to strengthen corporate reputation benefits and legitimacy (Wright and Rwabizambuga, 2006), gain a competitive advantage when the banking market competitiveness is more intense (Chih et al., 2010), mitigate various form of risk exposure and improve credit risk (W€ orsd€ orfer, 2015), and strengthen and level the playing field between banks (Conley and Williams, 2011). ...
... A number of studies have focused on the economic motivations and rationales behind adoption and commitment, with different self-regulatory codes of conduct for ESG risks in the project finance market (Wright and Rwabizambuga, 2006;Chih et al., 2010;W€ orsd€ orfer, 2015;Conley and Williams, 2011). The existing studies find that the main impetuses of financial institutions are primarily to strengthen corporate reputation benefits and legitimacy (Wright and Rwabizambuga, 2006), gain a competitive advantage when the banking market competitiveness is more intense (Chih et al., 2010), mitigate various form of risk exposure and improve credit risk (W€ orsd€ orfer, 2015), and strengthen and level the playing field between banks (Conley and Williams, 2011). ...
Article
This paper investigates the determinants of the green credit ratio (GCR), and the impact of green credits on the profitability and credit risk of Chinese banks. This study uses bank-level data over the period 2011–2018 and it applies the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM). The present paper contributes to the understanding of green credit policy in China by examining the determinants of GCR, and its relationship with bank’s profitability and credit risk. Our findings document that large and profitable banks tend to lend more green credits. Interestingly, there is no significant impact of bank risk on GCR. In other words, risk management is not a significant barrier for banks issuing green credits. We show that state-owned banks are more likely to lend green credits, which is supported by our finding that China’s decisive attitude towards green credit policy is so strong that the bank’s risk does not matter for the green credit lending policy. Moreover, green lending practices have a significant impact on the profitability and risk faced by these banks. One of the most striking findings of this paper is that while green lending increases the profitability of non-state-owned banks and reduces their risk, state-owned banks provide green credits at the expense of their profitability. This can be attributed to the Chinese government’s ambition to push state-owned banks to play a key role in green lending.
... They are the key actors in our transition towards a green (carbon-free) economy. By voting with their money, they ideally help in catalyzing the transitional process towards economic, ecological, and social sustainability (Conley & Williams, 2011). ...
... Scholtens and Dam 2007;Macve and Chen 2010;Conley and Williams 2011). The second component is 'Adoption of GRI' most widely used sustainability reporting standard globally(Milne and Gray 2013). ...
Article
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A healthy, robust and sustainable banking system is the key for achieving inclusive growth in Indian economy. This paper is aimed at determining the status quo of banking sector in India towards adoption of sustainable banking practices. The findings reveal that Indian banking industry has responded relatively slowly to sustainability issues. The public sector banks are more involved in addressing the social dimensions of sustainability through various microfinance schemes, gender-specific loan schemes, community development programme, etc., whereas the private sector banks in India have adopted relatively more comprehensive approach in addressing environmental care dimension like green building, ISO 14000 certification, innovative products and services, etc. They are more active in subscribing to the voluntary international guidelines and framework on sustainable development like UNEP FI, EPs, GRI, CDP, etc. For integrating sustainable banking, the Indian banking industry has to be more proactive in its approach and should adopt at least the established sustainable banking code of conducts.
... It has become an important criterion for accessing funds for projects (IFC 2012) and many financial institutions have gone a step further to develop a framework based on what they call the 'equator principle', a standard for ensuring due diligence on the part of managers in order to avoid adverse risks on society and the environment (Conley and Williams 2011;van Zyl 2015). The social impact assessment (SIA) component of ESIA for e.g. is said to have developed as an element of environmental impact assessments (EIA) with roots in social justice concerns across the world (Vanclay 2014) and aimed at protecting vulnerable groups and people against infrastructural, extractive and developmental projects. ...
Article
Balancing economic activities with socio-environmental considerations has become a global standard for the construction of large scale infrastructure projects, including ports. In this discourse, stakeholder participation and environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) have been stressed as important tools that can help port managers to co-create values, avoid conflicts and promote inclusive growth. Drawing on qualitative research tools and stakeholder theory, this paper explores whether and to what extent local stakeholders' inclusion has substantial influence on addressing their socio-cultural concerns and interest. This is illustrated with a case study of an ongoing port expansion project at Ghana's largest port of Tema. The findings suggest that although the port authority conducted an ESIA and engaged local stakeholders as part of the planning process, this did not translate into preventing the loss of valuable cultural resources of the local communities. The port authority did not place 'value' on cultural resources of the local communities that cannot be expressed in monetary terms. Further, lack of good faith engagement with local stakeholders led to conflicts in some cases that triggered a court action and delays. The paper concludes that stake-holder participation if not applied well, can become a 'post-political' tool.
... Confirming this, Conley and Williams [2011] found that one of the major themes, emerged from their study, and was the related role of NGOs pressure and risk management in motivating the financial institutions, which implement EPs, to form this initiative. They stated that banks participate in the EPs "in response to NGOs pressure, real or threatened" Conley and Williams [2011, p. 567]. ...
Chapter
This chapter uses a survey of personnel in Libyan commercial banks, including general managers and credit managers, to investigate how banks perceive and process social responsibility and sustainability information declared by potential borrowers in their credit applications and other documentation. In particular, the chapter considers how the backgrounds and experiences of key bank staff in lending decisions may bias toward or against lending with the disclosure of potential borrower information on social responsibility and sustainability. We also consider the impact of institutional features, particularly the stance of government, in shaping these perceptions and links with action via regulation and the possible influence of business ethics through industry associations.
... Institutional forces such as regulations, standards, and voluntary codes of conduct can influence the amount and type of CSR practices carried out by organizations, as well as the extent to which CSR has a strategic advantage for firms (Chatterji & Toffel, 2010). Further, the strictness of regulatory pressures may also influence the authenticity of such practices (Conley & Williams, 2011). Consistent with both justice and behavioral ethics research, this approach is normative in nature. ...
Article
Special Issue on ‘Behavioral Ethics, Organizational Justice, and Social Responsibility across Contexts’ - Volume 7 Issue 1 - Deborah E. Rupp, Patrick M. Wright, Samuel Aryee, Yadong Luo
... This mechanism is likely to be particularly effective within relatively homogeneous and stable fields (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983), such as specific industries. For instance, the Equator Principles were rapidly adopted by companies in the area of project finance (Conley & Williams, 2011). In contrast, the adoption rates of broader initiatives that address highly diversified groups of companies, such as the UNGC (Sethi & Schepers, 2014), are rather moderate. ...
Article
The extent to which state authorities can regulate the externalities and the behaviour of multinational corporations (MNCs) is limited. This is especially true when MNCs operate in or do business with fragile states that lack the willingness and/or resources to effectively and legitimately regulate businesses. However, MNCs often engage in private regulation to remedy some of the problems that unregulated business behaviour creates. In this article we examine what limits the effectiveness and legitimacy of the contributions made by MNCs to global governance. We explore the mechanisms that state authorities in functioning states can use to overcome these barriers as well as the boundary conditions of these mechanisms at both company and government levels. We provide a framework for governmental CSR policies and describe the ways in which functioning states engage in governance beyond the ‘shadow of hierarchy’ and directly or indirectly influence business conduct beyond the territory in which their legal regulations can be enforced.
... , practitioners and financial institutions have promoted environmental and social impact studies and mitigation plans (ESIA) as an important tool to promote sustainable infrastructure development including ports(IFC 2012; GPHA 2015; van Zyl 2015). This stems from its ability to, through participatory processes that engages relevant stakeholders, identify and capture potential environmental and socialconcerns and motives of all relevant stakeholders as part of the planning processes for port infrastructure projects (van Zyl 2015; Le 2016; IFC 2012; Slinger, Taneja, and Vellinga 2017; Coutinho et al. 2019).It has become an important criterion for accessing funds for projects (IFC 2012) and many financial institutions have gone a step further to develop a framework based on what they call the 'equator principle', a standard for ensuring due diligence on the part of managers in order to avoid adverse risks on society and the environment(Conley and Williams 2011; van Zyl 2015). The social impact assessment (SIA) component of ESIA for e.g. is said to have developed as an element of environmental impact assessments (EIA) with roots in social justice concerns across the world(Vanclay 2014) and aimed at protecting vulnerable groups and people against infrastructural, extractive and developmental projects.Yet,Le (2016) as well asVanclay (2014) have noted that research has not adequately paid attention to analysing whether concerns of stakeholders (particularly local communities) captured during ESIA are prioritised and if project proponents keep track with the commitments they make in ESIAs.Vanclay and ...
Thesis
The dissertation analyses the transitioning of the port sector towards sustainability in environmental and social terms. In specific, it explores how port authorities in Europe and West Africa engage with the globalising green port idea, and what role is played by contextual factors in determining the choice of policy measures and technological tools they adopt or implement. The dissertation further examines the extent to which sustainability-oriented network(ing) bring to bear positive influence on sustainability practices of participating ports (authorities) and facilitates environmental upgrading along the maritime value chain. Finally, it interrogates outcomes of stakeholder-inclusive port development discourses and mechanisms. It does this by combining concepts and theories such as policy mobilities, sustainability fix and critical debates on network theory and network governance. Methodologically, the dissertation draws on information collected through a triangulation of qualitative research methods and document analysis. The findings show that sustainability schemes and green initiatives of ports are crucially 'translocal', and draws attention to contested outcomes in port networks and stakeholder-inclusive initiatives and discourses of ports.
... Other sectors, nance for instance where funding of infrastructural projects has raised similar issues and discourses (see for instance Conley and Williams, 2011), present possibilities for parallel analyses. The strong focus on human rights in the extraction sectors allows us to explore the method in a relatively clear manner however. ...
Article
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This article explores the language of corporate accounts of business and human rights. Using innovative methods drawn from computational corpus linguistics, the article explores discussions of business and human rights in a data set composed of 346 corporate social responsibility reports drawn from firms in extractive industries. The article concludes that human rights are ‘put to work’ in corporate accounts by reconfiguring their meaning to draw them into the ‘familiar frames’ of business accounting narratives.
... The results even contradict hypothesis H 2c , showing that SDG reporting organizations are more likely to be located in countries with lower levels of market coordination (i.e., primarily bank-based economies). This finding might reflect banks' emerging commitment to supporting organizations in improving their sustainability performance (Conley and Williams, 2011) and thus banks' potential to stimulate sustainable development (Bouma et al., 2001;Campiglio, 2016). ...
Article
Organizations worldwide can play a significant role in the advancement of the Sustainable Development Agenda. However, there might be various factors influencing organizations’ decisions to address sustainability issues. This study aims to conduct an analysis of the country-level institutional factors related to the decision to address the Sustainable Development Goals in sustainability reports. The research is undertaken by considering 27 institutional factors belonging to six different national institutional systems, and it relies on data from 2413 sustainability reports published by organizations located in 90 different countries. The results show that organizations reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals are more likely to be located in countries with higher levels of climate change vulnerability, national corporate social responsibility, company spending on tertiary education, indulgence and individualism, and lower levels of market coordination, employment protection, power distance and long-term orientation. The study contributes to the literature on sustainable development and sustainability reporting by investigating the institutional factors related to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals in sustainability reports. The study can be useful for managers, investors and decision makers to develop country-specific strategies, investment plans, and policies to support organizations in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
... 211 FIs could have a pivotal role in the development of the risk adjustment metrics to address environmental and social issues. 212 FIs finance many types of projects and have a strong voice in the financing and investing of environmental projects. 213 Companies listed on stock exchanges require capital to finance projects. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Retail investors are increasingly demanding responsible investments. Retail investors also require the services of an advisor. Many responsible funds may not be responsible. This is due to many factors, including incomplete disclosures, and lack of financialization of risks. The thesis shows that traditional mutual funds, while structurally able to provide responsible investments, have not provided responsible holdings to mass affluent clientele. Institutional investors, and wealthy retail investors, have options to avail themselves of responsible investments; mass affluent investors have less choice to invest responsibly. The thesis recommends enhanced material disclosures and financial valuation models to better identify responsible investments. Advisors and investors do not have access to the majority of responsible investments, nor are advisors properly trained or compensated to provide advice on these products. Regulatory changes to advisor licensing and advisor training are recommended to address these problems, to provide mass affluent investors with better access to responsible investments.
... 101 This stands in contrast to banking, which is highly regulated by governments at the national and sub-national levels, and project finance, which heavily draws on the social and environmental standards of the International Finance Corporation and other multilateral and governmental development agencies. 102 Governments struggle to regulate many environmental and social impacts attributable to global commercial activity, including impacts that directly implicate human rights. 103 Private governance helps fill this governance gap. ...
Article
This article analyses the human rights implications of impact investing, which aims to create positive social and environmental impacts in addition to financial returns. Reflecting growing awareness of the capacity of the global capital markets to advance sustainable development, companies and institutional investors are seeking new financial instruments and strategies. This article focuses on social bonds, a prominent and illuminating example of this phenomenon. Social bonds are debt securities sold to investors whose proceeds are used to finance projects with a defined social benefit such as affordable housing, education, food security, and access to healthcare. To analyse social bonds in the context of human rights, this article proposes a framework for evaluating human rights factors in impact investing and applies it to the social bond market. It finds that current standards and practices do not adequately account for the human rights implications of social bonds. In light of these observations, this article suggests reforms to the social bond market that enhance investor assessment, external assurance, and impact-maximizing leverage.
... Sustainable banking concept had been described (Scholtens, 2002;Coulson, 2003;Butzbach and Von Mettenheim, 2015;Relano, 2008;Carlucci et al., 2018). The important variables under research are drivers, qualities and characteristics of sustainable banking (Tan et al., 2017;McCormick, 2012;Moechdi et al., 2016) the financial, environmental and legal aspects of sustainable banking (Yeoh, 2009;Relaño, 2011;Mykhayliv and Zauner, 2018) the role of profitability (Costa-Climent and Martínez-Climent, 2018) and regulation in sustainable banking (Conley and Williams, 2011). Sustainable banking involves a lot of challenges and problems (Islam et al., 2014). ...
Article
Abstract: This research paper presents the systematic review analysis of sustainable finance and the challenges of financing for sustainability. In this systematic review, 181 articles in 110 journals, related to sustainable finance (1999–2019) had been reviewed from the source of Scopus and Web of Science. This review had identified six major sub-themes of climate finance, sustainable banking, impact investment, crowd financing, micro finance, and sustainable asset classes. These researches indicate a major interest shown by academia and industry in sustainable finance. This research had concluded by identifying sub-themes of climate finance; and sustainable banking as the most promising niches for future research in the area of sustainable finance. Keywords: sustainability; sustainable finance; climate finance; banking; ESG; crowd financing impact finance; micro finance; green bonds; sustainable asset classes.
... Most project financing in the Dutch hospitality and tourism industry does not comply with the Equator Principles, but many banks still demand that potential clients attain Green Key certification, to signal their sustainability. This requirement highlights the banks' evident belief in the certification scheme's ability to mitigate information asymmetries between firms and stakeholders (Conley & Williams, 2011;Weber, 2012). Especially when it is difficult to differentiate firms that are genuinely committed to sustainability from those that are not, banks can rely on the sustainability certification schemes, in an effort to exclude firms that are not genuinely committed to sustainability . ...
Article
Drawing on club theory, this study examines the challenges and opportunities facing a sustainability certification program, the Green Key scheme, in terms of its recruitment and retention of members within the Dutch tourism and hospitality industry. Extant literature on sustainability certification in this industry tends to focus narrowly on motivations and retention problems at the firm level, or else on drivers of or barriers to the adoption of sustainability certification schemes. The links between scheme design characteristics and scheme effectiveness and their implications for recruitment and retention thus have remained relatively unexamined. To address this gap, this study proposes a theoretical framework that highlights how different design features of sustainability certification schemes might inform the recruitment and retention challenges that scheme managers often face
... According to the Equator Principles, the current global green credit policies, banks will refuse to provide loans to the projects if the borrowers are unwilling or unable to comply with the social and environmental policies and procedures set forth in the Equator Principles [12]. By the end of 2008, 63 financial institutions around the world had announced the adoption of the Equator Principles, and their green project financing accounted for over 80% of the total global green project financing, which greatly contributed to the development of the global green credit market [13]. ...
... Regulierungsgründe. In der Literatur werden verschiedene Wege beschrieben, auf denen Unternehmen mit Gesetzgebern interagieren: Unternehmen versuchen teilweise, durch die Teilnahme an Collective-Action-Initiativen (1) die Schaffung neuer Gesetze oder die Verschärfung bestehender Regulierungen gänzlich zu verhindern (Auld, Renckens, & Cashore, 2015;Conley & Williams, 2011;Héritier & Eckert, 2009), (2) den Zeitpunkt für die Schaffung neuer Regulierungen zu verschieben (Bowman & Hodge, 2009;Young, 2013) oder (3) den Inhalt und die Stringenz neuer Regulierungen zu beeinflussen (Bowman & Hodge, 2009;Gamper-Rabindran & Finger, 2013). Der Gesetzgeber kann andererseits auch Unternehmen dazu bewegen, sich an kollektiven Initiativen zu beteiligen -entweder (4) durch positive Anreize (Balzarova & Castka, 2012;Engert, 2010) oder (5) indem er den Unternehmen explizit mitteilt, dass neue Regulierungen geschaffen würden, falls die Unternehmen nicht imstande wären, das betreffende Problem selbst zu lösen (Baron, 2014;Dawson & Segerson, 2008;Lyon & Maxwell, 2003). ...
... Institutional forces such as regulations, standards, and voluntary codes of conduct can influence the amount and type of CSR practices carried out by organizations, as well as the extent to which CSR has a strategic advantage for firms (Chatterji & Toffel, 2010). Further, the strictness of regulatory pressures may also influence the authenticity of such practices (Conley & Williams, 2011). Consistent with both justice and behavioral ethics research, this approach is normative in nature. ...
Article
MOR Special Issue Behavioral Ethics, Organizational Justice, and Social Responsibility across Contexts - Volume 6 Issue 3 - Deborah E. Rupp, Patrick M. Wright, Samuel Aryee, Yadong Luo
... According to Deva et al. (2019, p. 206), "global finance and capital are levers for advancing corporate respect for human rights" and banks in particular, it has been argued, can play a role as global sustainability regulators (Conley & Williams, 2011). However, the financial sector has been relatively slow to understand its own responsibilities for human rights under the UNGPs. ...
Article
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This paper critically investigates the implementation of the UN guiding principles on business and human rights (UNGPs) into the corporate setting through the concept of ‘translation’. In the decade since the creation of the UNGPs, little academic research has focussed specifically on the corporate implementation of human rights. Drawing on qualitative case studies of two multinational corporations—an oil and gas company and a bank—this paper unpacks how human rights are translated into the corporate context. In doing so, the paper focuses on the “resonance dilemma” translators encounter, the strategies used to make human rights understandable and palatable, and the difficulties that emerge from this process. We contend that the process of making human rights understandable and manageable can change their form and content, which may act as an obstacle to human rights realisation and corporate accountability for human rights.
... Globalization and the spread of neoliberal policies have not only accelerated this 'globalization of capital', but have also shaped the systems of 'global governance', which now seek to deliver citizenship and accountability mechanisms through international instruments like the EP. Conley and Williams (2011) identify a positive outcome of the neoliberal political commitments to deregulate and privatize: some EPFIs have stepped up to lead the regulation of development projects. This voluntary use of a self-regulation approach is a significant step in extending global EPFIs' 'corporate citizenship' (Hemphill, 2004, p.82). ...
Research
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Since the Equator Principles (EP) were introduced in 2003 their overall effect on promoting sustainable development, as per the stated objective, has remained controversial. The literature is replete with debates about the instrument’s governance structure and monitoring mechanism because they both have major implications on the EP’s effectiveness. This essay evaluates the EP and its ability to deliver accountability to citizens within the context of current globalization discourses. It argues that despite the EP putting players in the financial sector in a proactive social and environmental role it is unable to promote better citizenship rights. It begins with providing an overview of the EP, then examines the key debates that underpin it, before analysing its strengths and weaknesses and concluding on its usefulness in today's global landscape.
... Institutional forces such as regulations, standards, and voluntary codes of conduct can influence the amount and type of CSR practices carried out by organizations, as well as the extent to which CSR has a strategic advantage for firms (Chatterji & Toffel, 2010). Further, the strictness of regulatory pressures may also influence the authenticity of such practices (Conley & Williams, 2011). Consistent with both justice and behavioral ethics research, this approach is normative in nature. ...
Article
Special Issue on ‘Behavioral Ethics, Organizational Justice, and Social Responsibility across Contexts’ - Volume 7 Issue 2 - Deborah E. Rupp, Patrick M. Wright, Samuel Aryee, Yadong Luo
... Eschewing the analysis of the impacts of such loans, some institutions even claim that these activities, when legally organized, generate financial resources and sustaining many families; thus, cutting your credit can result in a reduction of the activity causing environmental imbalance in the communities that these sectors act as main thread. This narrow view of funding ends causing some resistance from society, in some cases, sees the actions to minimize environmental risk only profit as a catalyst for financial institutions (CONLEY; WILLIAMS, 2011;O'SULLIVAN;O'DWYER, 2009;WRIGHT;RWABIZAMBUGA, 2006). ...
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... For example, more and more banks and stock exchanges have become aware of their role in promoting the principles of sustainable development and offer financial products and services that include certain ESG aspects (Forgione & Migliardo, 2020). In addition, financial institutions also have at their disposal specific principles such as the Equator Principles through which they can model the behaviour of borrowers in the sense that they must meet certain social and environmental criteria in order to receive the requested financing (Scholtens & Dam, 2007;Conley & Williams, 2011;Wright, 2012). Stock markets are also taking important steps in this regard, because they have either launched sustainability stock market indices or created special market segments where only companies that meet certain ESG criteria can be listed (Missbach, 2004;Wright & Rwabizambuga, 2006). ...
... For example, more and more banks and stock exchanges have become aware of their role in promoting the principles of sustainable development and offer financial products and services that include certain ESG aspects (Forgione & Migliardo, 2020). In addition, financial institutions also have at their disposal specific principles such as the Equator Principles through which they can model the behaviour of borrowers in the sense that they must meet certain social and environmental criteria in order to receive the requested financing (Scholtens & Dam, 2007;Conley & Williams, 2011;Wright, 2012). Stock markets are also taking important steps in this regard, because they have either launched sustainability stock market indices or created special market segments where only companies that meet certain ESG criteria can be listed (Missbach, 2004;Wright & Rwabizambuga, 2006). ...
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Financial Consumers – Promoters of Sustainable Development? Evidences from Europe and Central Asia
... Bank operations do not pose a risk to the environment and society. However, banks play a role on whether or not to support clients whose products and services may have a detrimental impact on the environment and society (Conley and Williams 2011). Most banks assess the environmental and societal impact of their clients' activities to avoid liability from contamination and clean-up costs, and negative publicity. ...
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... However, the literature has emphasized the role of self-regulatory and industry-led drivers for sustainability in mining (Dashwood, 2014;Fonseca, 2010;Tregidga & Milne, 2006). Specifically, large-scale mining companies have embraced international standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001, and International Finance Corporation (IFC) performance requirements as their voluntary response to promoting sustainability in developing countries marred by institutional voids (Conley & Williams, 2011;Milne & Gray, 2013;Psomas, Fotopoulos, & Kafetzopoulos, 2011). Yet these voluntary reporting standards for sustainability have received criticisms regarding their effectiveness in promoting improved social and environmental outcomes (Moran et al., 2014;Sorensen, 2012). ...
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This paper examines the environmental sustainability practices of multinational mining companies in addressing their impacts and promoting the sustainable development of local communities in Ghana. Although large‐scale mining companies have embraced environmental sustainability, the drivers and the mechanisms for addressing their impacts throughout the mine life cycle is not fully understood because of the limited research in this area. The focus in this study involves an examination of the drivers for environmental sustainability in a weak and non‐enabling institutional context and the mechanisms for addressing impacts on biodiversity, water quality and quantity, and ambient climate. The findings show that the environmental sustainability practices of multinational mining companies are determined by regulatory compliance and corporate environmental responsibility based on perceived ethical obligation. Additionally, we find gaps in mine closure planning and rehabilitation because of the limited requirement for biodiversity restoration in the domains of flora repopulation and active fauna reintroduction. This paper provides empirical and theoretical insights for academics and practitioners in industry and policymaking.
... Through partnerships in such schemes, members of NGOs think tanks and international organisations were progressively 'acculturated' to business methods, practices and vocabulary (Conley and Williams 2008: 14, 15). The spread of CSER is also associated with a process of private 're-regulation' (Logsdon and Wood 2002;Conley and Williams 2011), whereby businesses became recognised sources of policy proposals at the international level (Müller 2013). International organisations followed suit over the next decades and increasingly adopted 'soft' and 'experimental' governance methods (Sabel and Zeitlin 2012;Eckert and Börzel 2012). ...
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The 2015 Paris agreement represents a deep-rooted change in global climate governance. While existing scholarly assessments highlight central institutional features of the Paris shift, they tend to overlook its symbolic and discursive dimensions. Our analysis shows that the Paris architecture combines two core elements: an iterative pledge and review process to stimulate global climate action, and a ‘performative’ narrative aimed at aligning actors’ expectations on the prospect of a low-carbon future. We therefore suggest calling it an incantatory system of governance. We then examine the origins of the new approach and find that the rise of ‘soft law’ approaches and communicative techniques in global climate governance are both indicative of a broader process: the entry of management culture in international organisations. Against this backdrop, we examine the prospects, limitations and caveats of the new approach and discuss its wider implications for global politics.
... 126 Similarly, lending institutions monitor social and environmental risk related to project finance under the Equator Principles. 127 Multi-stakeholder initiatives have also proved effective as monitors and enforcers on corporate conduct in a diverse range of industries ranging from forestry to food and beverage to apparel to marine fisheries. 128 In particular, these initiatives have often transformed the 'greenwashing' practices of corporate self-regulatory approaches by providing verification and independent monitoring. ...
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In the wake of increasing corporate disasters, there has been an urgent need to address business impacts on human rights. Yet business responsibilities for human rights are mainly voluntary and likely best termed ‘soft law’. Recently, however, several states have begun negotiations for an international binding treaty in this area suggesting a need to turn to ‘hard law’ to increase the efficacy of business and human rights (BHR) initiatives. This article argues that because soft and hard law concepts are not dichotomous, BHR governance need not become ‘hard law’ to be effective. Rather ‘hardened’ soft law instruments can be equally effective.
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The paper presents a renewed Habermasian view on transnational multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) and assesses the institutional characteristics of the Equator Principles Association (EPA) from a deliberative democracy perspective. Habermas’ work has been widely adopted in the academic literature on the political responsibilities of (multinational) corporations (i.e., political corporate social responsibility), and also in assessing the democratic qualities of MSIs. Commentators, however, have noted that Habermas’ approach relies very much on ‘nation-state democracy’ and may not be applicable to democracy in MSIs—in which nation-states are virtually absent. We argue that Habermas’ detailed conceptualization of the institutionalization of deliberative democracy can be applied to transnational MSIs if these initiatives can be said to have their own ‘dèmoi’ that can be represented in associational decision-making. Therefore, we develop a definition of the dèmos of an MSI based on the notion of collective agency. Subsequently, we explain how Habermas’ approach to democracy can be applied to MSIs and show that it has more to offer than hitherto has been uncovered. Our illustrative analysis of the EPA confirms the criticisms regarding this MSI which have recently been articulated by researchers and practitioners, but also yields new findings and possible avenues for the further development of the EPA: That is, although our assessment suggests that the EPA in its current state is still far from being a democratic MSI, the possibility of a sensible analysis of its democratic character indicates that transnational MSIs can, in principle, help to fill governance gaps in a democratic way.
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This study reviews literature on the Islamic banking sustainability and presents directions for future research. The paper discourses scholars’ and practitioners’ views on the two perspectives of sustainability in relation to the objectives Islamic banking and finance. Limited studies on Islamic banking sustainability is one of the major issues presented in the paper. The study highlights essential issues on the sustainability without in-depth empirical analysis. The needs for long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability is not a compromising issue. Therefore, Islamic banks must strike balance between the institutional, societal and environmental sustainability in order to achieve the objective of Sharia.
Chapter
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Chapter
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The purpose of this paper is to examine companies’ business model disclosures in their integrated reports and to explore the possible determinants of more detailed business model disclosures. Content analysis is used to identify disclosure themes in the integrated reports of 40 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Descriptive statistics are generated for each disclosure theme/item and hypotheses are tested, using non‐parametric testing. The results suggest that financial performance does not have a material effect on how companies explain their business model. This is not the case when it comes to environmental performance as firms with strong environmental performance devote more attention to explaining how financial and non‐financial elements are managed. This is consistent with an emerging body of research which suggests that higher‐quality integrated reporting can be used to lower information asymmetry and reinforce investors’ ability to understand a firm's performance. This paper complements a growing body of work which has considered the determinants of better‐quality environmental or sustainability reporting and answers the call for more research on the factors that may influence the nature and extent of disclosures found in an integrated report.
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Thesis
Sustainability in mining has received much global attention in recent years from academics, policy makers, and industry leaders, and other players. However, scant attention has been paid to examining the sustainability practices of mining companies within developing countries in addressing the proximate and long-term social and environmental impacts of mining activities. To address this knowledge gap, this study examines how large-scale mining companies address their social and environmental impacts through their sustainability practices. This study is situated within an interpretivist paradigm and employs a qualitative research methodology based on multiple cases, drawing on data from interviews with six (6) managers of multinational mining companies operating in Ghana, and 12 key stakeholder groups. This thesis contains four empirical findings chapters. The first of these examines the sustainability practices of large-scale mining companies in addressing environmental impacts throughout mine lifecycle. The findings indicate that the environmental sustainability practices are determined by regulatory compliance and corporate environmental responsibility. Although the environmental sustainability practices are predicated on the requirements in relevant policies and legislation, the findings demonstrate that regulatory pressures drive large-scale mining companies to embrace beyond compliance initiatives based on perceived ethical obligations. The second findings chapter examines the barriers to environmental sustainability implementation in large-scale mining in Ghana. The findings demonstrate that both institutional and corporate challenges are hindering effective sustainability implementation. The third findings chapter investigates the sustainability practices of large-scale mining companies in addressing social impacts throughout mining development. The findings show that large-scale mining companies have embraced a broader scope of social sustainability implementation based on a changing institutional environment. Drawing on stakeholder theory, the findings indicate that mine managers address social sustainability challenges based on instrumental and normative considerations. The fourth and final findings chapter examines the drivers for and barriers to mining companies’ social sustainability practices by drawing on stakeholder theory and institutional theory. The findings suggest that regulatory evolution, institutional pressures, post-closure legacies, transparency and disclosures, and managerial cognition are key drivers for the social sustainability implementation of large-scale mining companies. On the contrary, the barriers to social sustainability implementation stem from institutional voids and divergent stakeholder interests. Thus, by doing a critical reflection of the findings, this study contributes to theory by offering a series of propositions and suggesting a holistic framework for social and environmental sustainability implementation. Regarding stakeholder theory, the findings show that Large-scale mining companies experience fewer pressures from local communities and activists because of their lack of proactive engagement on environmental sustainability issues. Drawing on institutional theory, the findings suggest that multiple and contradictory logics within various institutional arrangements undermine social and environmental sustainability implementation. Additionally, this study provides a frame of reference for practitioners including mining companies and mine managers, regulatory officials, policy makers, and mining pressures groups who are involved in social and environmental sustainability implementation. Future research may consider data sets from other empirical domains, which might uncover differences in the emerging framework for sustainability implementation
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Studies of global governance typically claim that the state has lost power to nonstate actors and that political authority is increasingly institutionalized in spheres not controlled by states. In this article, we challenge the core claims in the literature on global governance. Rather than focusing on the relative power of states and nonstate actors, we focus on the sociopolitical functions and processes of governance in their own right and seek to identify their rationality as practices of political rule. For this task, we use elements of the conception of power developed by Michel Foucault in his studies of “governmentality.” In this perspective, the role of nonstate actors in shaping and carrying out global governance-functions is not an instance of transfer of power from the state to nonstate actors but rather an expression of a changing logic or rationality of government (defined as a type of power) by which civil society is redefined from a passive object of government to be acted upon into an entity that is both an object and a subject of government. The argument is illustrated by two case studies: the international campaign to ban landmines, and international population policy. The cases show that the self-association and political will-formation characteristic of civil society and nonstate actors do not stand in opposition to the political power of the state, but is a most central feature of how power, understood as government, operates in late modern society.
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In this article, I propose five ways to move beyond the analytical scheme of James Scott's Seeing Like a State (1998). I question the spatial optic that posits an “up there,” all-seeing state operating as a preformed repository of power, spread progressively outward to “nonstate” spaces beyond its reach. I highlight the role of parties beyond “the state” that attempt to govern—social reformers, scientists, and the so-called nongovernmental agencies, among others. I look beyond authoritarian high modernism to the more general problematic of “improvement” emerging from a governmental rationality focused on the welfare of populations. I explore the recourse to mētis (contextualized, local knowledge and practice) situated beyond the purview of planning. Finally, I reframe the question posed by Scott—why have certain schemes designed to improve the human condition failed?—to examine the question posed so provocatively by James Ferguson: What do these schemes do? What are their messy, contradictory, conjunctural effects?
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Fully revised and updated throughout, the new edition of Discourse Analysis is a user-friendly textbook for students taking their first course in linguistic approaches to discourse.Second edition of a popular introductory textbook, combining breadth of coverage, practical examples, and student-friendly features Includes new sections on metaphor, framing, stance and style, multimodal discourse, and Gricean pragmatics Considers a variety of approaches to the subject, including critical discourse analysis, conversation analysis, interactional and variationist sociolinguistics, ethnography, corpus linguistics, and other qualitative and quantitative methods Features detailed descriptions of the results of discourse analysts’ work Retains and expands the useful student features, including discussion questions, exercises, and ideas for small research projects.
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To tackle China’s profound environmental problems, Chinese leaders are now incorporating environmental targets in 5-year plans and experimenting with market-based mechanisms to supplement their traditional command and control mechanisms for environmental protection. In the recent years, China has produced a series of green policies, including green tax, green procurement, as well as green policies relevant to the financial sector, namely, green credit, insurance, and security policies. Of the three, the green credit policy is the most advanced, with three agencies (the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Peoples’ Bank of China, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission) sharing the responsibility for implementation. The policy, approaching its fourth year of implementation, has proved resistant to China’s massive economic upheaval following the global financial crisis. Its future success depends on effective environmental data collection and dissemination, technical guidance, and provision of true financial incentives for banks. The continued success in implementation could potentially provide China with the experience and confidence to address new challenges, such as the environmental and social conduct of its enterprises overseas.
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Why have systems of "transnational private regulation" recently emerged to certify corporate social and environmental performance? Different conceptions of institutional emergence underlie different answers to this question. Many scholars argue that firms create certification systems to solve problems in the market-a view rooted in a conception of institutions as solutions to collective action problems. The author develops a different account by viewing institutions as the outcome of political contestation and by analyzing conflict and institutional entrepreneurship among a wide array of actors. Using a comparative case study design, the analysis shows how these arguments explain the formation of social and environmental certification associations. Both theoretical approaches are needed, but strong versions of the market-based approach overlook an important set of dynamics that the author calls the "political construction of market institutions." The analysis shows how both problem solving in markets and political contention generate new institutional forms.
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In this paper we situate the rise of corporate social responsibility in the context of a re-casting of the boundaries between corporate- and state-centred regulation. We argue that this process can be understood in a theoretical framework of “rolling-out” neoliberalisation. We focus firstly upon an emergent CSR consultancy industry within the UK context, demonstrating that there is now a network of organisations dedicated to making profit out of socially-responsible corporate behaviour. These organisations have helped to re-define the nature and meaning of the private sector. Then we interpret global framework agreements on corporate behaviour (such as the UN Global Compact, the Equator Principles, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Corporate Citizenship Initiative) as examples of how neoliberalism is created in and through new “in-between” spaces that set the rules of political action. Subsequently, we note that some NGOs have recently recognised the limits on campaigning for more socially responsible corporate activity, and re-connect these concerns with longer-term debates on corporate voluntarism versus state-centred regulation. We conclude that demonstrating how hegemony is constructed in and through neo-liberalising corporate social responsibility remains to be fully explored, but argue that it is beneficial to consider the diversity of political projects involved in this ongoing process.
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List of tables and figures Preface Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: corporate self-regulation in the new regulatory state 2. The potential for self-regulation 3. Motivating top management commitment to self-regulation 4. Cultivating self-regulation leadership 5. Self-regulating methodology and social harmony 6. The pathologies of self-regulation 7. Model corporate citizens: the role of self-regulation professionals 8. The three strategies of 'permeability' in the open corporation 9. Meta-regulation: the regulation of self-regulation 10. Conclusion Appendix Notes References Index.
Article
The author proposes a framework for self-regulation in a global setting, concentrating on the industry level of economic activity. He first reviews industry self-regulation in a domestic setting and then extends the discussion to the global setting. He concludes with a discussion of his framework, which can serve as a springboard for further theory development and research.
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This paper provides a multi-level theoretical model to understand why business organizations are increasingly engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and thereby exhibiting the potential to exert positive social change. Our model integrates theories of micro-level organizational justice, meso-level corporate governance and macro-level varieties of capitalisms. Using a theoretical framework presented in the justice literature, we argue that organizations are pressured to engage in CSR by many different actors, each driven by instrumental, relational and moral motives. These actors are nested within four "levels" of analysis: individual, organizational, national and transnational. After discussing the motives affecting actors at each level and the mechanisms used at each level to exercise influence, as well as the interactions of motives within levels, we examine forces across levels to propose the complex web of factors, which both facilitate and impede social change by organizations. Ultrimately, this proposed framework can be usd to systematize our understanding of the complex social phenomenon of increasing CSR engagement, and to develop testable hypotheses. We conclude by highlighting some empirical questions for future research, and develop a number of managerial implications.
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Stakeholder dialogue, participation, and partnership have become mainstream concepts in international development policy, in particular in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, the accountability of multi-stakeholder initiatives on CSR to their intended beneficiaries in the global South is increasingly questioned. This paper looks at how the agendas of some initiatives in the areas of ethical trade and sustainability reporting are driven by what Western NGOs push for, what large companies consider feasible, and what consultants and accountants seek to provide. It describes how the resulting practices and discourse restrict change and marginalise alternative approaches developed by Southern stakeholders. It is argued that enthusiasm for stakeholder dialogue, participation, and partnership in CSR matters, and beyond, needs to be reconceived with democratic principles in mind. ‘Stakeholder democracy’ is offered as a conceptual framework for this endeavour, and some recommendations are made for NGOs, companies, and governments.
Book
Based on Michel Foucault's 1978 and 1979 lectures at the College de France on governmental rationalities and his 1977 interview regarding his work on imprisonment, this volume is the long-awaited sequel to Power/Knowledge. In these lectures, Foucault examines the art or activity of government both in its present form and within a historical perspective as well as the different ways governmentality has been made thinkable and practicable. Foucault's thoughts on political discourse and governmentality are supplemented by the essays of internationally renowned scholars. United by the common influence of Foucault's approach, they explore the many modern manifestations of government: the reason of state, police, liberalism, security, social economy, insurance, solidarity, welfare, risk management, and more. The central theme is that the object and the activity of government are not instinctive and natural things, but things that have been invented and learned. The Foucault Effect analyzes the thought behind practices of government and argues that criticism represents a true force for change in attitudes and actions, and that extending the limits of some practices allows the invention of others. This unique and extraordinarily useful collection of articles and primary materials will open the way for a whole new set of discussions of the work of Michel Foucault as well as the status of liberalism, social policy, and insurance.--Publisher description.
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This paper reviews recent developments in economic anthropology. It argues that an underlying concern with the cultural constitution of material life unites many current studies - and not just the few works offered to date as studies in cultural economics. Such current work has to be recognized for what it is, namely an emergent, broadly based culturalist school in economic anthropology.
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Increasingly, corporations are proactively managing environmental impacts in response to pressures from the consumer, business-to-business, financial, and government procurement markets. In many cases, these efforts have produced results well beyond what could be required under public regulations. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a process of regulatory reinvention in the 1990s as a means of promoting such innovations, the results have been somewhat disappointing. This article examines the recent trends in corporate environmental management and regulatory reform. It concludes with a discussion of changes in regulatory design that could promote ongoing gains in corporate environmental performance through the creation of a hybrid system combining elements of public regulation, government-supervised corporate self-regulation, mandatory information disclosure, and green procurement.
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In this exploratory article, we ask how states come to be understood as entities with particular spatial characteristics, and how changing relations between practices of government and national territories may be challenging long-established modes of state spatiality. In the first part of this article, we seek to identify two principles that are key to state spatialization: verticality (the state is "above" society) and encompassment (the state "encompasses" its localities). We use ethnographic evidence from a maternal health project in India to illustrate our argument that perceptions of verticality and encompassment are produced through routine bureaucratic practices. In the second part, we develop a concept of transnational governmentality as a way of grasping how new practices of government and new forms of "grassroots" politics may call into question the principles of verticality and encompassment that have long helped to legitimate and naturalize states' authority over "the local."
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The financial transparency for which U.S. capital markets are renowned derives primarily from mandatory disclosure of operating results under the federal securities laws. In this Article, Professor Williams defends the view that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can and should require expanded social disclosure by public reporting companies to promote corporate social transparency comparable to the financial transparency that now exists. As used in this Article, "social disclosure" refers to disclosure of specific information about a reporting company?s products, the countries in which a company does business, and the labor and environmental effects of a company?s operations in the United States and around the world. Professor Williams shows that the SEC has the statutory authority in fashioning proxy disclosure under Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require disclosure either to promote the public interest or to protect investors. To construe the SEC?s public interest disclosure power, she examines the intellectual derivation of the securities laws and their legislative history, demonstrating that increasing corporate accountability to shareholders and to the public was a central goal of Congress in 1933 and 1934, as was constraining the exercise of corporate power and inculcating a greater sense of public responsibility in corporate managers. The legislative history of Section 14(a) indicates that Congress?s purpose in enacting that section was to strengthen the power of shareholders in the corporate governance relationship, and in particular to require companies to provide shareholders with information about management policies and practices. Thus, she argues that it is fully consistent with the language, purpose, and legislative history of the securities laws for the SEC to use its authority under Section 14(a) to require expanded disclosure about management?s policies and practices with respect to social and environmental issues. A close examination of the SEC?s rejection of expanded social disclosure in the 1970s buttresses this conclusion. Professor Williams concludes by making the affirmative case for expanded corporate social transparency and for the SEC?s legitimate role in promoting such transparency, both from the perspective of the "economic" investor, who is assumed to be interested primarily in the financial returns from an investment, and from the perspective of the "social" investor, who is concerned more broadly with the social and environmental effects of corporate conduct.
Article
The past decade has witnessed the emergence of a large set of voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards. However, our knowledge is limited on how and why certain CSR initiatives diffuse extensively whereas others do so only partially or not at all. One of the rare examples of a rapidly and widely spreading CSR standard are the "Equator Principles" (EP), a global standard in international project finance to base investment decisions for large infrastructure projects (e.g., a river dam) on social and environmental criteria. In our qualitative study, we explore the constitutive conditions which facilitated the EP standardization process. First, we track the initiative’s evolution in form of a historical analysis. Second, we conduct 20 semi-structured interviews with relevant actors, e.g., representatives of banks or NGOs. Our study shows that the EP’s diffusion is fostered by dynamic negotiation processes. Instead of viewing organizational fields as relatively stable, we conceptualize them as relational, fragmented and open issue spaces where subject matters are prone to negotiation, interpretation, and contestation.
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Traditional approaches to corporate governance focus exclusively on shareholders and neglect the large and growing role of creditors. Today's creditors craft elaborate covenants that give them a large role in the affairs of the corporation. While they do not exercise their rights in sunny times when things are going well, these are not the times that matter most. When a business stumbles, creditors typically enjoy powers that public shareholders never have, such as the ability to replace the managers and install those more to their liking. Creditors exercise these powers even when the business is far from being insolvent and continues to pay its debts. Bankruptcy provides no sanctuary as senior lenders ensure that their powers either go unchecked or are enhanced. The powers that modern lenders wield rival in importance the hostile takeover in disciplining poor or underperforming managers. This essay explores these powers and begins the task of integrating this lever of corporate governance into the modern account of corporate law.
Article
This paper analyzes the ways in which jurors use everyday storytelling techniques in their deliberations. It begins by reviewing the literature on how jurors receive and process evidence, emphasizing narrative and storytelling. It then presents some new, qualitative linguistic data drawn from actual jury deliberations, which shed light on jurors' standards of evidence and proof, as well as on the persuasive tactics they use in dealing with each other. Although these data are limited, they provide an interesting basis for assessing existing ideas about jury evidence-processing and thinking more broadly about the strengths and weaknesses of the jury system.
Article
This article uses the techniques of anthropology and linguistics to assess the behavior of corporations, non-governmental organizations, and other principals as they participate in the burgeoning worldwide movement to improve the social and environmental conduct of multinational companies. On a theoretical level, the article analyzes the corporate social responsibility movement as an exercise in "the new governance," a term coined by political scientists to describe a recent trend (especially prominent outside of this country) toward diffusing regulatory authority among governmental agencies, private actors such as NGOs, and regulated companies themselves. The ultimate question is whether the new behaviors demanded by CSR advocates will amount to substance or mere form. Over the past two years we have interviewed large numbers of CSR specialists and participants, have participated in and observed a number of CSR events, and have done detailed linguistic analyses of corporate CSR reports. Our conclusion is mixed: while the CSR movement has clearly brought more transparency to the non-financial performance of large corporations, it has also created subtle but significant opportunities for those corporations to manage criticism and debate and thereby enhance their power. Testing the new governance theoretical model against these same developments, we conclude that some of the major concerns of new governance critics - especially problems with representation and accountability - are in abundant evidence in the CSR movement.
Article
Can global governance be democratic? The public debate on this issue largely assumes that the modernist conception of democracy as tied to an identifiable territory and polity cannot be globalized without a world government. Various post-modernist theorists offer a set of alternatives based on a redefinition of democracy, the state, democracy, and law. Individuals with plural selves can govern themselves through participation in multiple networks of public and private actors that together define the state. The results are heady, exciting, and likely to be unintelligible to the vast majority of policymakers, activists, and citizens who seek to achieve specific goals in an age of globalization, information, and politicization. This essay instead develops a typology of more concrete and prosaic accountability problems connected with a rapidly growing form of global governance -- transgovernmental regulatory networks. These "government networks" are networks of national government officials exchanging information, coordinating national policies, and working together to address common problems. After a brief overview of the literature on transgovernmentalism since the 1970s in Part I, Part II sets forth a typology of three different categories of government networks. Part III then seeks to pinpoint the specific accountability concerns associated with each type. Part IV offers one approach to answering some current accountability concerns by adapting the concept of "information agencies" from the European Union to the global level. Part V briefly surveys various reconceptualizations of democracy and distills various elements of these visions that could be useful in strengthening the democratic pedigree of government networks. It concludes with an appeal to add global legislative networks to the pluralist mix of global governance mechanisms.
Chapter
IntroductionParticipation as ActionStories as Participation FieldsParticipation in Linguistic AnthropologyConclusion
Article
This article examines the various ways in which the relationship between anthropology and development has been established in anthropological practice especially in the last few decades. The change in mainstream development theory towards the inclusion of social and cultural considerations paved the way, in the 1970s, for the increasing participation of social scientists in development, resulting in the emergence of 'development anthropology' within development institutions. In the 1980s, in the wake of post-structuralist critiques of culture and representation, another field - the 'anthropology of development' - came into existence. The article reviews the concepts, experience and predicaments of these two fields, taking their respective views of both anthropology and development as a point of departure. Today, it is argued, it is difficult to maintain the boundaries between the two fields; novel forms of engaging anthropology and development are, in fact, appearing. These emerging practices are analysed by focusing on the work of a handful of anthropologists who are crafting a new theory of practice and a new practice of theory at the intersection of anthropology and development. The article concludes with some thoughts for the future on the anthropology of globalization and postdevelopment.
Article
This article analyzes the meanings and practices of corporate personhood through ethnographic examination of the changing relationship between the Shell oil company and residents of the neighborhood surrounding the company's refineries in Argentina. The article scrutinizes the Shell public relations staff's work to remake the company into a good corporate citizen and caring neighbor with a benevolent public “face.” It argues that Shell's shift from corporate philanthropy to corporate social responsibility (CSR) reconfigured the “legal fiction” of corporate personhood and the historical relations of patronage and paternalism. This reconfiguration was achieved through the regendering of the public face of the company.
Article
Drawing from two ethnographic case studies, both from Haiti, this article argues that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as intermediaries, “glue” globalization in four ways. First, in their “gap filler” roles NGOs provide legitimacy to globalization, representing alternatives to states fragmented by neoliberalism. Second, NGOs, in the contemporary neoliberal aid regime, can undermine the governance capacity of states in the Global South, eroding the Keynesian social welfare state ethos and social contract that states are (or should be) responsible for service provision. Third, NGOs provide high-paying jobs to an educated middle class, reproducing inequalities inherent to and required by the contemporary neoliberal world system. Fourth, NGOs, as an ideologically dependent transnational middle class, constitute buffers between elites and impoverished masses and can present institutional barriers against local participation and priority setting. Drawing on recent anthropological scholarship that moves away from reifying NGOs and their professed ideologies, this article focuses on NGO practice.
Article
In this article, I seek to identify a limitation in the analysis James Scott offers in Seeing Like a State (1998) by asking to what extent his account of the follies of schemes for planned improvement by states provides critical leverage on the present world of neoliberal global capitalism. Scott has claimed that a dynamic of standardization, homogenization, and grid making applies not only to developmentalist states but also equally to the contemporary world of downsized states and unconstrained global corporations. I contest that claim by tracing how recent capital investment in Africa has been territorialized, and some of the new forms of order and disorder that have accompanied that selectively territorialized investment. Because such investment has been overwhelmingly in mineral resource extraction—particularly in oil—a contrast will become visible between the homogenizing, standardizing state optic Scott analyzed and a rather different way of seeing, proper to the contemporary global oil company.
Chapter
In this exploratory article, we ask how states come to be understood as entities with particular spatial characteristics, and how changing relations between practices of government and national territories may be challenging long‐established modes of state spatiality. In the first part of this article, we seek to identify two principles that are key to state spatialization: vertically (the state is "above"society) and encompassment (the state "encompasses" its localities). We use ethnographic evidence from a maternal health project in India to illustrate our argument that perceptions of verticality and encompassment are produced through routine bureaucratic practices. In the second part, we develop a concept of transnational governmentality as a way of grasping how new practices of government and new forms of "grassroots" politics may call into question the principles of vertical ity and encompassment that have long helped to legitimate and naturalize states' authority over "the local." [states, space, governmentality, globalization, neoliberalism, India, Africa]
Purpose – The equator principles constitute an international voluntary code developed by banks to encourage consideration of environmental and social issues in project financing. Such codes can flexibly bridge the gap between individual companies' sustainability initiatives and mandatory, legal regulation. However, concerns continue to be expressed that the equator principles reporting of banks is not fully satisfactory, so the aim of this paper is to investigate both the nature of the success and the shortcomings of equator principles reporting. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on academic literature on motivations for corporate social responsibility and various publications by non-government organisations and professional accounting and legal organisations, together with analysis of the disclosures made by Barclays and HSBC. In addition, access was gained for semi-structured interviews with some senior executives/consultants. Findings – While the voluntary equator principles initiative has been remarkably successful in matching banks' strategic motivation, the environmental benefit may primarily be a by-product of the risk management processes of banks, consistent with enlightened shareholder theory. This does not mean the environmental benefits may not be real but, without more detailed project-level disclosure and a standardised performance evaluation system, it is difficult to measure the extent to which the equator principles have had a positive effect on the environment. Research limitations/implications – Further research is needed to gauge how the equator principles impact front-line decision making. There could usefully be further standardisation of equator principles reporting formats, with more detail about project-level implementation. With respect to reports of external assurers, it remains an open question as to whether these should be made compulsory, subject to further specification of the independence and competence standards. Originality/value – The study helps to illuminate the effectiveness of a voluntary code such as the equator principles in the social construction of how enlightened shareholder theory is to be interpreted and implemented. It makes an initial response to recent calls by Bebbington et al. and Adams for further empirical corporate social responsibility research and more direct engagement with organisations.