Publication Date

May 2004


[Excerpt] In this paper Dr. Murray, of the University of Melbourne, argues that the public discourse on Corporate Social Responsibility has evolved into a quite stylized debate which tends to focus on one particular facet of multinational economic behaviour. Namely the treatment of workers in manufacturing factories in the developing world producing goods for multinational enterprises with particular attention the manufacture of textiles, clothing and footwear. This has also brought with it renewed interest in the idea of the “sweatshop”, the concept of extreme exploitation of vulnerable workers in terms of living wages and dangerous working conditions. As a consequence more is known about this sector than just about any other, and theoretical work tends to deal with the subject of corporate selfregulation through the lens of the production and consumption of these arguably idiosyncratic goods. She argues that it is important to identify the potential distorting power of this emerging discourse and to broaden the attention to labour markets conditions in general.


Working Paper No. 34.