Brand Aid

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Can Citizen Consumers Make a Difference?
DIIS researcher contributes to a Boston Review - New Democracy Forum

In the current issue of Boston Review (November/December 2011), contributors to a ‘New Democracy Forum’ debate whether Citizen Consumers can make a difference in stimulating responsible labor and environmental practices. Dara O’Rourke (founder of argues that governments have proven unable to hold companies responsible for labor and environmental practices and that, with the right tools, consumers can pick up the slack. A panel of invited respondents, including labor activists, scholars and venture capitalists, discusses the pros and cons of changing the world by ‘voting with your dollars’.

Lisa Ann Richey and Stefano Ponte (Professor at Roskilde University and Senior Researcher at DIIS respectively), authors of Brand Aid: Shopping Well to Save the World, highlight how companies can burnish their reputations without changing their ways. They argue that consumers can transform global production, but not alone. Consumers are not citizens without a state. Regulation and state intervention are still key factors in shaping the boundaries within which consumers make their ‘ethical’ choices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date15 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

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