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Call for Contributions

Volume Title

The Critical State of Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe 


Ralph Tench, William Sun and Brian Jones
Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University, UK


The issues of Europe and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) attract significant interest and discussion at political, policy, and practitioner (business) levels. Most recently the Volkswagen scandal has served to highlight the importance as well as the impotence of CSR within and beyond the EU. This edited collection will explore through robust, rigorous and critical analysis the role, operation and impact of CSR in differently governed nations of the EU. It will look at how CSR is interpreted and applied to suit particular national contexts that are in broad agreement regarding the aim and objectives of the European project, as well as being in support of free markets, open democratic government and the role of the state. It will tease out the points of similarity and difference in policy, politics, and practice of CSR within and across European nations. It seeks to address this knowledge gap by helping to establish and demarcate a critically informed European approach to CSR as a legitimate and worthy field of study in its own right. Despite various EU policy initiatives and changes in business CSR practices the issue of different nation states and their role in CSR remains an issue yet to be fully and properly addressed from a critical standpoint. CSR and Corporate Social Irresponsibility (CSI) in policy and practice will be described, explained, theorised and critically analysed. There is a need to academically benchmark the role of the EU and the nation states’ role in shaping the form, direction and content of CSR so as to better understand how business practices might be better managed, monitored and performance improved.  

Guidance for authors

The aim of the book is to provide a thoughtful and contemporary critical reader on EU nation states’ response to and intervention in the area of CSR. Why do the EU and the constituent EU governments intervene in CSR? Should governments intervene more or less and exactly how should this be done for maximum impact? How is the state’s relation with CSR conceived, managed and critiqued by academia and practice?  The book will offer critical theoretical insights as well as practice based, ‘real-world’ case study analysis. It provides opportunity for both theoretical and empirical contributions and encourages contributions that describe, explain and critically analyses the EU as well as EU member states’ approaches to CSR.

The book will build on existing work in the area of CSR and Europe:

Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe: United in Sustainable Diversity, edited by by Samuel O. Idowu, René Schmidpeter and Matthias S. Fifka, Springer: Feb 2015.

Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe: Rhetoric and Realities, edited by Regine Barth and Franziska Wolff, Edward Elgar: April 2009.

Corporate Social Responsibility across Europe, edited by By André Habisch, Jan Jonker, Martina Wegner and René Schmidpeter, Springer: 2005.

The volume will differ in its approach to those mentioned above by offering new insights that are roundly and robustly critiqued.  Furthermore, the book will  address and inform two separate but related issues: firstly the shifting nature, shape and understanding of  the CSR concept; secondly it will challenge, question and progress CSR aspects, features and elements of the broader European project. 

The European approach or approaches to CSR, is/are noticeably different from the American method.  Dirk Matten and Jeremy Moon’s 2008 paper ‘Implict and explicit CSR: a conceptual framework for comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility’ has prompted much debate. Chapter authors are encouraged to build on and develop the Matten and Moon (2008) implicit/explicit debate. ‘Implicit’ and ‘Explicit’ CSR can be used as tools of analysis with the EU approach perceived as 'implicit' and the US approach as 'explicit'.  Matten and Moon’s (2008) framework of analysis has clearly been influential as recognised by the fact that is still the subject of on-going debate. There are already studies showing that the European approach is not a single one, but varies within as well as between countries and companies. It can be suggested that explicit CSR within Europe has become more implicit and this position is open to further critique and comment. One of the main purposes of this book is to offer a series of informed well researched chapters that offer systematic studies on the European approaches to CSR.

Chapter authors are encouraged to examine the institutional roots of the approaches, particularly the effects of the approaches and their impacts on business and society, in comparison with the American approach.

Critically informed discussion and debate should be adopted so that answers, policy prescriptions and new, informed practices can emerge and evolve. There is also a need to examine CSR practice through theory. Looking at how theories inform and underpin CSR can aid critical analysis and theory development. Theoretical and conceptual chapters informed by a thoroughgoing and rigorous literature review that explore the nature of CSR’s relationship with government and the various apparatus of the state are encouraged. Similarly, chapters with a practice focus that serve to illustrate, guide and inform theory regarding the relationship between CSR and government/state are welcomed. 

Throughout the book should offer critical insights, critique of standard model approaches and analysis of a critical nature and may include:  

  • Conceptual and thought pieces
  • Chapters that offer a critical approach to the study of CSR and how it is interpreted by the EU or EU member states
  • Case studies of corporate wrongdoing, misdemeanours or irresponsible behaviour/practices and how the state plays a role
  • Case study examples of corporations/businesses using or adopting CSR through a government/state policy initiative
  • Cases of poor and of good nation state policy or practice with regards to CSR
  • Cases that explore one or more EU nation state’s approach to CSR.

These are examples of what might be included and are not prescriptive in any sense. Other topic areas related and underpinned by a critical approach to the EU or EU states’ approaches to CSR are also welcome.

The book seeks to develop critical analysis of CSR and the state. New research insights and theoretical perspectives and approaches are welcomed. Mixed research methods including case studies, literature reviews, theoretical analysis and empirical studies including qualitative and quantitative are encouraged. Chapters may be exploratory in nature. They should offer substantive analysis of issues, themes and topics. Where appropriate, broader based conceptual, reflective and analytical pieces may for illustrative purposes, be linked with, specific issues. Key questions and issues addressed could be approached from a predominantly critical analysis of the EU/state or a CSR perspective or a combination of both.  

Important deadlines

Abstracts deadline - 1 September 2016
Full chapters deadline - 1 June 2017
Reviewer comments returned to authors - 1 September 2017
Revised chapters deadline - 1 January 2018
Final revisions deadline - 15 March 2018

How to submit

For enquiries or to submit your abstract/paper, please contact:

Dr Brian Jones
Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University, The Rose Bowl, Portland Gate, Leeds, LS1 3HB, UK
T: +44 (0)113 812 4632