This paper focuses on the analysis of corporate responsibility and also examines the question of international diffusion of norms in the context of globalization. It measures the influence of nonstate actors on foreign societies and states. It also draws on firsthand economic and financial empirical data, and then analyzes the reasons why French firms haveadopted this discourse and integrated many practices prevalent in the US private sector. It shows that the globalization of production and capital has created in France a favorable context for the reinterpretation of corporate social responsibility, despite France's political and historical specificity with respect to human rights. As French companies have become increasingly transnational in their operations and reliant on nonresident capital, they have been more willing to take norms of corporate social responsibility into account. This economic context has had three major effects. First, it has influenced the construction of a domestic public space and new social networks—a market of virtue—based on cooperation among nongovernmental organizations, norms activists and businesses. Second, it has influenced some firms in the definition of their international strategy. Finally, it has compelled the French state to react in economic regulatory terms. Nonstate actors are thus constructing new norms, shaping the economic public debate, compelling states to react, and setting new public policies.


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pp. 1307-1345
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