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date: 01 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter charts the contribution of economic geography to the field of research concerned with corporate social responsibility (CSR) and standards. Following explanation of the historical and political–economic context of CSR and the rise of codes and standards as tools in the private regulation of the global economy, it places the critical spotlight on studies of ethical and labour standards in global supply chains. Within this area, the different critical insights into CSR and standards offered by the global value chains and global production networks frameworks, as well as postcolonial critique, theories of governmentality, and sociologies of standards and marketization, are summarized and debated. Finally, the chapter discusses some of the recent economic, geographical, and regulatory challenges to the ways in which CSR and standards are operating and transforming in practice, from the global economic downturn to the influence of ‘rising powers’ and emerging economies.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, standards, private regulation, global value chains, global production networks, assemblages, rising powers

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