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Corporate social responsibility and democratisation: Opportunities and obstacles

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Democracy seems to be accepted as a workable, albeit imperfect, mechanism of governing a polity and of political decision-making in Western liberal societies (Held 1987: 198; Young 2000: 4). Theories of electoral, representative democracy dominate many understandings of the practice of democracy. Capitalism, albeit in many variations, similarly seems to have prevailed over alternative methods of economic organisation. A capitalist system that delivers citizen satisfaction is therefore crucial. This chapter examines the need for broader conceptions of how democracy is attained, beyond representative processes. It then outlines why, considering democracy in a wider sense, companies should be scrutinised and accordingly how, given current configurations of capitalism, companies might be made responsive to those citizens whose lives they affect.
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Keywords: corporate; democratisation; obstacles; opportunities; responsibility; social

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 12 November 2008

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