NGO campaigns and banks: Constituting risk and uncertainty
Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility
ISBN: 978-1-84855-058-2, eISBN: 978-1-84855-059-9
Publication date: 1 September 2008
This chapter analyses the private financial sector's policy responses, lending practices and various forms of engagement with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), communities and institutional clients involved in controversial commodity industries. The chapter demonstrates that secrecy plays a constitutive role in this engagement. For investment banks, client-confidentiality is the ultimate limit to transparency. At the same time, NGOs campaign to make public and reveal links between investment banks and clients in commodity industries. The chapter also explores techniques within the financial sector for the assessment of social and environmental risk. The chapter argues that these techniques combine both practices of uncertainty and practices of risk. For civil society organisations, NGOs and local communities, these techniques remain problematic, and various campaigns question both the robustness of the financial sector's social risk screening methods as well as the sustainability of the investments themselves.
Lawrence, R. (2008), "NGO campaigns and banks: Constituting risk and uncertainty", De Neve, G., Peter, L., Pratt, J. and Wood, D.C. (Ed.) Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 241-269. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190-1281(08)28011-X
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