Appropriation of discourses: justice and corporate social responsibility in an artisanal mining community of rural Colombia


  • Patrick Kenneth Kane Independent Researcher


This article seeks to contribute to the academic debate on self-regulatory mechanisms such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) by identifying and exploring the significance of disparities in the discourses – ways in which ‘aspects of the world’ are ‘construed’ – of a multinational corporation and the community in which it operates. It focuses on a case study of a natural resource-extracting corporation in rural Colombia. In the terminology of this special issue, it is concerned with both the discourses of appropriation and the appropriation of discourses. The case study findings suggest that corporate self-regulation allows CSR to be used by corporations as a means of appropriating the discourse of justice, and at the same time leaves the impression (at least with the community) that CSR discourse is a ‘discourse of appropriation’. The paper argues that this appropriation takes place in the context of Teubner’s new economic and law paradigm, based on the ‘almost world-wide institutionalisation of economic rationality’.