Abstract

This dissertation concentrates on responsible business in the neoliberal era. In a multi-step approach this work aims to present a new composition of perspectives on responsible business. The reader is guided from a narrow perspective on responsible business – presented by corporate social responsibility (CSR) concepts and current CSR strategies applied by businesses – to the legal aspects of responsible business and finally to the bigger picture resulting from a closer examination of the prevailing political and economic conditions of our time. Over five chapters a more diversified view on responsible business today will be unfolded step-by-step and placed in a wider context of contemporary political and economic conditions. First, voluntary measures or so-called ‘soft law’ measures enabling responsible business are introduced and critically discussed. Their efficiency with regard to promoting responsible business is then put to the test by five case studies on global corporations and their business behaviour with regard to responsible conduct. This is followed by an introduction of legal aspects, particularly ‘hard law’ measures, both in theory and in practice in the fourth chapter. Thereafter, in chapter five, responsible business is placed in the wider context of international politics and the global economy. Chapter six includes an overall conclusion and an outlook on the future of responsible business.


Complete dissertation monograph available via Technische Universität Darmstadt