- global economic change,
- market-based economies,
- corporate governance
In an era of financial crises, widening income disparities, and environmental and other calamities linked to corporations, calls for greater corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) are increasing rapidly around the world. Though CSR efforts have generally been viewed as voluntary actions undertaken by corporations, a new CSR model is emerging in China and India. In a marked departure from CSR as it is known in the United States and as it has been developing through global norms, China and India are moving towards mandatory, not voluntary, CSR regimes. They are doing so not only in a time of great global economic change, but at a time when both countries are themselves undergoing massive economic and social change as they re-orient towards more market-based economies and seek to enter the ranks of global economic superpowers.
This Article conducts a comparative analysis of the emerging CSR regimes in China and India. It examines why China and India are moving towards mandatory CSR regimes when other key global players have taken a largely voluntary approach. This article also begins an inquiry into some of the most significant implications of the CSR regimes now unfolding in China and India, and what these developments may mean for both countries as well as what other countries, including the United States, seeking to learn from China and India’s experiences. Finally, this article seeks to add to global debates over corporate governance models by enhancing understanding of the corporate governance developments and innovations now arising in China and India.