Sie sind hier: Startseite Abteilung Demokratieforschung Forschungsprojekte The political regulation of corporate conduct in India’s democracy: how collaborative governance is reconfiguring state-business interplays

The political regulation of corporate conduct in India’s democracy: how collaborative governance is reconfiguring state-business interplays

Since the 1980s, the gradual shift from state-led to private-sector led development policies in a context of globalization has put large companies at the centre of India’s development regime. These companies (national and multinational) exhibit ambivalent relationships to “development”: firms, while providing numerous resources which modern societies need to develop and prosper (wealth, goods and services, technologies, knowledge…), are simultaneously weakening and limiting capabilities tied to development (distribution of incomes and life chances, ways of life, ecosystems…). The potential of large firms operating in India to serve as well as to hurt collective interests and aspirations has been the object of rising controversies and social mobilizations, which confront India’s political system with contradictory expectations and uncertainties. On the one hand, policy-makers tend to formulate business-friendly policies and ease regulatory constraints in order to stimulate investments and economic growth. On the other hand, they are attentive to movements of “public opinion” and social movements, which signal collective expectations and demands regarding the state’s role to restrain and regulate contentious business activities.

Against this backdrop, Indian political and business actors increasingly mobilize new structures of political governance characterized by flexible (“soft”) and participative mechanisms, and connected to global semantics of “corporate social responsibility” (CSR), “corporate citizenship” and “sustainable development”. Damien Krichewsky’s research project investigates these shifting governance structures with a focus on

i.                  the processes underlying their social (re)production,

ii.           their relationships with pre-existing forms of regulation based on “command & control” systems, and

iii.              their transformative effects on the way India’s democracy responds to competing interest groups involved in the political regulation of corporate conduct.

 

The project relies on theory-driven qualitative empirical research. A first phase of the project consisted in a detailed comparative analysis of two CSR public policies adopted by India's central government, the National Voluntary Guidelines for the Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibility of Business (2011) and the CSR clause (sectionn 135) of India's Companies Act (2013). Findings can be consulted here. A second phase will focus on the role of new governance structures and state-business interplays in the wider context of India's environmental politics (see project description).

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