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Round Tables

Round Table: Evidence, Regulation and Governance: New Projects and Findings

Presenters: Claire Dunlop, Claudio Radaelli, Saras Jagwanth, Kristian Krieger, Peter Biegelbauer, Thomas König and Patrick Spearing

This Round Table gathers policy makers from the United Nations and the European Commission, academic researchers, and think tank leaders who have been involved in recent projects exploring the nexus between robust evidence, balanced values and sound policy-making. We present and discuss new findings and projects that shed a different light on how to approach the evidence-and-policy nexus, drawing attention to the complexities of knowledge utilization, the role of science in a context of ambiguity, and the balance between guidance and practice. Sponsored by the ERC project Protego

Round Table: The Role and Limits of Transparency in Promoting CSR

Chair: Kelly Kollman Presenting University of Glasgow

Presenters: Kelly Kollman, Alvise Favotto, Iain MacNeil, Irene-Marie Esser, Henry Lovat

Transparency has a long history as a tool to promote accountability in the corporate sector. Historically, the focus has been on financial accountability to shareholders and creditors. More recently the focus has shifted to a broader form of corporate social responsibility. That trend is reflected in the development of new forms of non-financial reporting associated with environment, social and governance issues as well as the integration of traditional financial reporting with these non-financial forms of disclosure. This inter-disciplinary roundtable will draw on research and theoretical insights from law, politics and management studies to examine the role and limits of transparency as a tool to develop CSR. The contributors will explore recent trends in the regulation, practice and effects of non-financial reporting as well as the use of transparency in promoting ‘corporate integrity’; disclosure is used in many emergent regulatory frameworks to combat corruption, modern slavery and unethical forms of corporate lobbying   The contributors will explore disclosure obligations, voluntary reporting, compliance, the transnational nature of disclosure frameworks, the use of information by stakeholders and the capacity of companies to respond to stakeholder input to address the regulatory efficacy of transparency as well as the mechanisms by which disclosure regulates corporate behaviour.

Roundtable book discussion “Business Lobbying in the EU”

Chair: David Coen

Book Presentation: Alex Kataitis (LSE) and Matia Vannoni (Kings)


Alison Harcourt (Exeter University)

David Levi-Faur (Jerusalem)

Graham Wilson (Boston University)

Martino Maggetti (Lausanne University)

Roundtable book discussion ‘Author meets critics: Selling Sustainability Short? The private governance of labor and the environment in the coffee sector’

Chair: Christophe Graz

Author: Janina Grabs

Discussants: Colin Provost and Jean-Christophe Graz.

Can private standards bring about more sustainable production practices? This question is of interest to conscientious consumers, academics studying the effectiveness of private regulation, and corporate social responsibility practitioners alike. Janina Grabs’ book 'Selling sustainability short? The private governance of labor and the environment in the coffee sector' provides an answer by combining an impact evaluation of 1,900 farmers with rich qualitative evidence from the coffee sectors of Honduras, Colombia and Costa Rica. Identifying an institutional design dilemma that private sustainability standards encounter as they scale up, this book shows how this dilemma plays out in the coffee industry. It highlights how the erosion of price premiums and the adaptation to buyers’ preferences have curtailed standards’ effectiveness in promoting sustainable practices that create economic opportunity costs for farmers, such as agroforestry or agroecology. It also provides a voice for coffee producers and value chain members to explain why the current system is failing in its mission to provide environmental, social, and economic co-benefits, and what changes are necessary to do better.