Russian and European environmental corporate responsibility : a comparative policy Analysis on environmental corporate responsibility between Russia and the EU

Bolder, J. (2012) Russian and European environmental corporate responsibility : a comparative policy Analysis on environmental corporate responsibility between Russia and the EU.

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Abstract:As a new approach to tackling global climate change, and to support sustainable development and other environmental issues, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) currently dominates many debates in business and political science. Experts express radically opposing opinions about the extent to which state responsibilities can be transferred to the corporate sector, while governments design various methods to stimulate or force the behaviour of businesses. Such different views and approaches raise questions on the potential of CSR in international strategies and global outcomes. In particular, the ambitious Western ideals might not suit the political systems of developing and transitional countries, and could lead to massive environmental and financial failure. One way to capture the constrains and opportunities of this situation is to compare the European Union with the neighbouring Russian Federation, as this report will show. Objective This report identifies and explains the main differences between Russian and European environmental corporate responsibility policies, using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) of Sabatier (2007). By analyzing the conditions, strategies, regulations, performance and cooperation of both environment policies and CSR policies, a number of relations are found that structure the comparison of Russia and Europe. Objective: This report identifies and explains the main differences between Russian and European environmental corporate responsibility policies, using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) of Sabatier (2007). By analyzing the conditions, strategies, regulations, performance and cooperation of both environment policies and CSR policies, a number of relations are found that structure the comparison of Russia and Europe. Methodology: This report presents a comparative cross-case analysis of two cases: the Russian Federation and the European Union, using governmental documents and evaluating scientific literature. The results are structured within the ACF, supported by of cultural theory and a small number governance theories. Some suspicious findings have been checked with expert interviews by the author, which also contributed to the overall impression for determining which aspects deserved more attention. Key findings:  The fundamental political systems, i.e., the extent to which policymakers behave according to formal institutional rules and legislation, cause the main difference. In the EU, a quasi-democratic system generally follows official procedures, while in Russia, informal procedures take the upper hand over a quasi-authoritarian system. This affects official legislative procedures, election rules for the rotation of government positions, and requires different types of public support.  In Russia, an implementation gap between policymaking and policy implementation is the major challenge for strategies and regulation, explaining Putin's approach for centralized control over Russia's regions. This contrasts the EU's decentralized modes of governance for member states, with a shared competence in environment policies and a competitive action framework for CSR.  Another difference is the contrasting perception of CSR. The EU aims for the Western use of voluntary corporate responsibilities beyond normal regulation. Russia sees a better use when corporate responsibilities are forced in order to fill the government's implementation gaps in regular legislation.  Environment and CSR policies are moderately effective in the EU, while implementation is weak in Russia. The EU's environmental progress can be attributed to its goal of taking a global leading role, to which CSR significantly contributes. Although Russia's regional implementation improves, its pollution increases stronger, and environmental CSR only contributes as coercive and/or profitable activities. As a result, the EU policies perform quite well, under European policy conditions, while the Russian policies are significantly less effective in achieving environmental goals, under Russian policy conditions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62387
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