The emergence of environmental governance practices raises a fundamental question as to whether they are substantive or symbolic. Toward that end, we analyze the relationship between a firm’s environmental governance and its environmental management as reflected in its ultimate outcome, environmental performance. We posit that substantive practices would bring changes in organizations, most notably in terms of improved environmental performance, whereas symbolic practices would portray organizations as environmentally committed without making meaningful changes to their operations. Focusing on a sample of (...) environmentally sensitive firms, results are consistent with environmental governance mechanisms being predominantly part of a symbolic approach to manage stakeholder perceptions on environmental management, having little substantial impact on organizations. Statistical analyses show mostly that there is no relation between environmental governance mechanisms and environmental performance, measured in terms of regulatory compliance, pollution prevention, and environmental capital expenditures. However, there is some indication that environmental incentives are associated with pollution prevention. Interviews with corporate directors shed further light on these results by underlining that environmental governance mechanisms are employed at the board level to protect the organization from reputational and/or regulatory harm, but are not necessarily intended to proactively improve environmental performance. (shrink)
Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them. They constitute the corporate version of grassroots social movements. Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach. This study is motivated by this particular issue and examines the effectiveness of astroturf organizations in the global warming context, (...) wherein large corporate polluters have an incentive to set up astroturf organizations to undermine the importance of human activities in climate change. We conduct an experiment to determine whether astroturf organizations have an impact on the level of user certainty about the causes of global warming. Results show that people who used astroturf websites became more uncertain about the causes of global warming and humans’ role in the phenomenon than people who used grassroots websites. Astroturf organizations are hence successful in promoting business interests over environmental protection. In addition to the multiple business ethics issues it raises, astroturfing poses a significant threat to the legitimacy of the grassroots movement. (shrink)
Michelle Madden Dempsey’s compelling book sets out a normative feminist argument as to why and when prosecutors should continue to pursue prosecutions in domestic violence cases where the victim refuses to participate in or has withdrawn their support for the prosecution. This paper will explore two of the key aspects of her argument—the centrality and definition of the concept of patriarchy, and the definition of domestic violence—before concluding with some final thoughts as to the appropriate parameters of feminist prosecutorial (...) decision-making. The paper argues that Madden Dempsey could offer a more detailed and nuanced argument about the role that patriarchy plays, particularly its relevance in marking out appropriate cases for pursuit; and that her thesis requires a more convincing exposition of the precise reasons for offering such a narrow account of domestic violence. (shrink)
A partir de una investigación sobre los Consejos Asesores Presidenciales en el Gobierno de Michelle Bachelet, se desarrolla un marco teórico sobre movimientos sociales y las llamadas formas subpolíticas, que permite ver cómo el movimiento estudiantil secundario de 2006 desafió el enclave educacional y el tipo de respuesta que un gobierno que buscaba un sello ciudadano, dio a través de la formación de un Consejo Asesor con participación de diversos sectores. El análisis de los debates en el seno de (...) ese Consejo muestra las diversas posiciones en juego y también la imposibilidad de llegar a acuerdos de trasformación profunda. (shrink)
We appreciated the important commentary provided by Michelle Oberman on our paper, (CQ Vol. 6, No. 1). For the most part we agree with Oberman's analysis of the issues, but there are seven points of variance, either of conception, emphasis, or accuracy. We wish to clarify these and welcome the chance her commentary provided to offer aspects of the social situation surrounding the case we presented.
This paper is a short commentary on Michelle Dempsey's contribution to a symposium on the work of John Finnis which took place at Villanova Law School in the fall of 2011. It focuses on Finnis's claim that there is a presumptive obligation to obey the law and some worries that Dempsey raises against this claim. It is forthcoming, along with several other papers from the symposium, in the Villanova Law Review.