Corporations as Political and Unpolitical Actors
Fougère, M. (2011). Corporations as Political and Unpolitical Actors. EJBO, Vol. 16, No. 2, p. 12-21.
© Business and Organization Ethics Network (BON)
This paper engages with the lively academic debate on the politicization of the firm and more specifically with Scherer and Palazzo’s recent works on a ‘political conception of corporate responsibility’. A number of critiques are formulated, in relation to both the discursive articulation of ‘political CSR’ in the way it constructs the political role of business and the normative argument advocating this politicization, focusing on possible unwanted effects. The paper then discusses how the proposed institutionalization of a political role for firms may in fact lead to an even more ‘unpolitical’ society, borrowing this ‘unpolitical’ notion to Rosanvallon in order to problematize the very terminology of a ‘politicization’ of corporations. This problematization makes it possible to expose the oxymoronic nature of political CSR – indeed, it can be seen as an ‘unpolitical politicization’. Contrasting political (social democratic) government and unpolitical (deliberative democratic) governance, the paper concludes on the dangers of the oxymoronic articulations that characterize deliberative governance initiatives. ...
PublisherBusiness and Organization Ethics Network (BON)