In recent years transnational corporations have become major players in
the development arena. The rise of corporate social responsibility (CSR) elevates
corporations as leaders in a new orthodoxy of business-led development that promotes
empowerment through “the market” as the panacea for global poverty. This
vision has recruited support from disparate actors, turning combatants into collaborators.
This article is based on thirteen months of multisited fieldwork, tracking
the performance of CSR through the circuit of conventions and policy forums
that constitute the social life of CSR. I argue that by claiming the confluence of doing
good business and doing good, commitment to the market logic of maximisation
is not only maintained, but endowed with a moral legitimacy and celebrated
as the elusive win-win solution for which the development industry continues to
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