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  • QUACK Sigrid (15)
  • SAHLIN-ANDERSSON Kerstin (5)
  • AINAMO Antti (3)
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Mobilising the literature on global governance, governmentality and accounting regulation, we trace the historical deployment of transparency and the associated assemblages of actors and technologies in transnational economic and market governance. Starting with the first uses of the term “transparency” in the European Common Market (ECM) after World War II, we show how transparency came to inform and frame the imagined rational individual as the central economic (customer, central to price discovery) and later political (citizen, central to the market's public accountability) participant. We then show how in the 1990s, with the rise of the New Financial Architecture (NFA), the role of transparency in economic/market governance was fundamentally transformed. Beginning with their good governance programs, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank gradually adopted “standardised transparency” (in the form of financial accounting, as well as standardised statistics, state budgets, corporate governance, etc.) to govern market participants through financial market discipline. This disciplining program worked in concert with a program of moral persuasion enacted through an intensifying performance measurement apparatus. We elaborate on the implications of this transformation for the political economy of accounting, by reflecting on how the reliance on standardised transparency in neoliberal governmentality has been about: a reconfiguration of the sites of problems (focused on the national level) and solutions (focalised at the global), a liquidation of transnational market governance (that is increased reach, flexiblisation and self-organisation of both the disciplining and moralising/subjectivising governance processes), and a reconfiguration of the topology of actorhood (away from states and individuals both as enablers and beneficiaries, and towards financial investors and private standard bodies).

Publication date 2019-01 Collection Cahiers libres
FLEURBAEY Marc
BOUIN Olivier
KANBUR Ravi
NOWOTNY Helga
REIS Elisa
21
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Déréglementation, crise économique, tensions sociales, déstabilisation démocratique, guerre : la période 1980-2030 va-t-elle rejouer le drame de 1890-1940, avec en outre la forte probabilité d’être suivie de cataclysmes environnementaux balayant tout sur leur passage dans la seconde moitié du siècle ? La situation paraît chaque jour plus alarmante et il est intolérable de constater l’écart entre les possibilités considérables, inégalées dans le passé, dont jouissent la plupart des sociétés du monde entier, et la piètre performance des institutions et des gouvernements. Les échecs institutionnels et les problèmes de gouvernance sont partout, dans le secteur privé comme dans le secteur public. Or nous pouvons faire beaucoup mieux, nous pouvons construire une société meilleure. S’appuyant sur le travail d’un panel mondial de chercheurs en sciences sociales, ce manifeste propose une vision fondée sur une nouvelle manière de penser et de réformer nos principaux piliers institutionnels : marchés, entreprises, politiques de protection sociale et mécanismes de délibération démocratique. Il délivre un message d’espoir et un appel à l’action, à un moment où de nouvelles menaces pèsent sur l’avenir et où les idéologies du siècle passé ont été discréditées. Ni la perte des illusions ni l’essor du capitalisme ne devraient justifier la fin de la quête de justice sociale. (Résumé éditeur)

Publication date 2018-11
FLEURBAEY Marc
BOUIN Olivier
KANBUR Ravi
NOWOTNY Helga
REIS Elisa
120
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This book builds upon the work of 300 international social scientists involved in the International Panel on Social Progress to propose both an overview of contemporary obstacles and roadblocks on the way of social progress and a vision as well as operational propositions with a view to create better societies based on core principles of human dignity, sustainability and justice.

in Annual Review of Sociology Publication date 2018-07
QUACK Sigrid
16
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In the twenty-first century, global business regulation has come of age. In this article, we review the literature on globalization and business regulation from the angle of transnational governance, a recently evolving interdisciplinary field of research. Despite the multiplicity and plurality of regulatory platforms and products that have emerged over time, we identify common patterns of field structuration and parallel trajectories. We argue that a major trend, both in practice and in scholarly work, is a move away from an idealized convergence around a set of unified global rules; instead, our conceptualizations and our practices of transnational business regulation increasingly demonstrate a concern for the adaptability of transnational rules to resilient and resistant contextual specificities. Another important trend, both in practice and in scholarly fields, is a growing focus on the complex dynamics between rule making on the one hand and rule implementation and monitoring on the other.

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This article proposes a theoretical re-conceptualization of power dynamics and their legitimation in contemporary business–society relations using the prism and metaphor of parentalism. The paper develops a typology of forms of parentalism along two structuring dimensions: care and control. Specifically, four ideal-types of parentalism are introduced with their associated practices and power-legitimation mechanisms. As we consider current private governance and authority through this analytical framework, we are able to provide a new perspective on the nature of the moral legitimation of power dynamics in contemporary business–society relations. And we weave the threads between this conceptual frame and historical antecedents, suggesting that business ethicists need to revive old debates on paternalism in light of the current pervasive trend of modernized and subtler forms of parentalism. Implications for business ethics and political CSR are discussed.

in Destabilizing Orders Publication date 2018 Conferance name MaxPo Fifth-Anniversary Conference
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If we take the title of this roundtable seriously, we see first that there is no question mark. So the starting claim, or assumption, of our discussion – which in fact seems fair to me – is that social science is indeed at the crossroads. (first paragraph)

in Power, Policy and Profit Edited by GARSTEN Christina, SÖRBOM Adrienne Publication date 2017-11
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This chapter explores the historical dynamics of emergence of a dense ecology of neoliberal think tanks. Starting from the setting up, in 1955, of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Britain, I explore the role of an organization, Atlas, that was created to replicate and diffuse the success of the IEA and to litter the world with free market think tanks. As I explore the founding of Atlas and its early years of operation, I am particularly interested in the process through which the organizational form of the neoliberal think tank came to be constructed, diffused and progressively institutionalized during that period. Through this historical case study I hope to contribute to our understanding of the contemporary interplay between business and politics.

in Organization Studies Publication date 2017-05
BOTHELLO Joel
21
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Over the past 30 years, organizations of many different kinds have introduced environmental preoccupations into decision-making, engaging with – and in many cases co-constructing – a striking array of rankings, best practices, standards and other governance tools. However, there has thus far been surprisingly little exploration of the evolving normative implications of environmentalism: existing organizational research treats environmentalism as a static, uniform and quasi-naturalistic phenomenon. In this article, we argue instead that environmentalism is fluid and multifaceted, evolving over time to produce differing conceptualizations that become affiliated with – and mobilized by – particular groups of actors. Using the theoretical framing of path generation, we identify how environmentalism follows a path characterized by episodes of re-conceptualization and re-labelling, a discursive evolution reflecting incremental yet consequential interactions with other institutional paths. We engage in a conceptual history to identify junctures where environmentalism meets with other institutional trajectories, facilitating shifts in meaning. We identify moments of crookedness in the transnational environmental path that are symbolically reflected in label changes – from the emergence of “sustainable development” in the 1980s, to “sustainability” in the 1990s, and more recently, an offshoot towards “resilience”. Those label changes are not only, we propose, symbolic markers but are also performative and entrench consequential regime transformations with regard to environmentalism. Through our exploration, we contribute to theory development while also generating empirical implications: theory-wise, we identify mechanisms of path generation that inform broader debates around path dependence. Empirically, we illustrate how different variants of environmentalism are connected to specific meaning systems, exhibiting affinity with different organizational fields.

in Global Themes and Local Variations in Organisation and Management Edited by DRORI Gilli, HÖLLERER Markus, WALGENBACH Peter Publication date 2016-09
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To manage is, etymologically, to act or operate (agere) with one's hand (manus). In that sense, "management" could be seen as a "genetic feature of humanity". The broad usage of the term, though, is in reality quite recent. (first sentences)

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This article provides a historical analysis of the political role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) before it was even called CSR. We describe two ideal types of political responsibilities during the eras of 19th century paternalism in Europe and corporate trusteeship in the US. Our historical contextualization of recent scholarly work on a “political turn” of CSR offers a two-pronged critique: 1. Growing discussions on political CSR start from a problematic foundation that does not hold in historical perspective – the taken-for-granted null hypothesis of a separation between business and state responsibilities. 2. The causal relationship of a political turn of CSR with globalization is misconceived and we show strong forms of political CSR well before our contemporary neoliberal globalization. We suggest that business and political responsibilities are structurally and have always been intimately intertwined and are constantly negotiated and re-negotiated. We propose this as an alternative null hypothesis, one that could frame future theorizing on political CSR. Finally, while we show that globalization is not the cause of political CSR, we suggest that it has nevertheless had a consequential impact, shaping the specificities of the contemporary political role of business. We conclude by drawing implications for future theorizing on (political) CSR and stakeholder democracy.

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