In this paper I critically assess the World Bank's adoption of discourses of corporate social responsibility in Latin America. I argue that the turn to private-sector associations as 'agents of development' or 'corporate citizens' is a logical extension of the neoliberal policy repertoire, allowing capital to position itself as the key actor within the arena of civil society and permitting the World Bank to resolve some of its internal debates around the role of institutions in development more broadly. At the same time, through a case study of the Guatemalan sugar industry, I argue that these initiatives are constructed in differentiated ways that are rooted in particular class trajectories and geographies of production and social reproduction. Looking at these so-called 'strategic development alliances' as arising at least in part from specific geographies of work may allow us to see where possibilities exist to push for more inclusive social and political participation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)