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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article is about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and aims to distinguish different types of CSR–government relationship and to understand these in the context of broader state roles and government–business relations. It investigates these relationships comparatively, historically, and in terms of new institutionalism. It does so comparatively by investigating CSR and government in four types of political system on the assumption that CSR reflects features of respective national business systems, or varieties of capitalism, in which government roles are critical. Thus it considers CSR in the USA, in Europe, in the transitional economies of East Asia, Eastern Europe, and South Africa, and globally. The article's special focus on the USA is justified because, although business responsibilities have long existed throughout the world, in America the concept of CSR emerged as a basis for reflection on its relation to the wider purpose of the firm in the context of institutions of governance.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, CSR–government relationship, government–business relations, institutionalism, national business systems, capitalism

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