Seminar: ‘Let Business Lift Africa out of Poverty’: Corporate Social Responsibility and the New South African Dream

cover In Good CompanyIn recent years transnational corporations have become increasingly important players in the development arena under the banner of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The CSR movement promises to harness the global resources of corporations in the service of local development. This vision has created new networks of formerly disparate actors, turning combatants into collaborators, as all parties appear to proclaim a collective venture for a mutual goal. In this seminar, Dinah Rajak of the University of Sussex discusses how new forms of moral authority are exercised and authenticated through CSR. While CSR extends the promise of ‘empowerment through enterprise’, claiming to bring the margins into the emancipatory embrace of the neoliberal market economy, she argues that it generates new processes of exclusion and inequality, inspiring deference and dependence, rather than autonomy and empowerment. Rajak bases her argument on a multi-sited ethnography of the world’s third biggest mining company, from their headquarters in London to the platinum mines of South Africa. 
This seminar is an initiative of the ASC's collaborative group Africa's global connections.

Dinah Rajak is a senior lecturer in anthropology and development at the University of Sussex, UK and is a co-founder of the Centre for New Economies of Development ( Her research concerns the anthropology of corporate social responsibility and new moral economies, with a focus on the extractive industries and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her publications include In Good Company: An Anatomy of Corporate Social Responsibility (Stanford University Press 2011).


Date, time and location

17 October 2013
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 5A47 (5th floor)