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Call for articles: Corporate Responses to Racial Unrest, Enterprise and Society

Corporate Responses to Racial Unrest -- A special issue of the journal Enterprise & Society 

 Guest Editors: Dr. Tyesha Maddox and Dr. Michael J. Thate 

The aim of this special issue is to convene an international team of scholars, ranging from diverse disciplinary perspectives and broad historical periods, on the question of historical corporate responses to racial unrest. Organized by an historian of the African Diaspora and a philosopher of religion and ethicist, this special issue places our current moment of corporate responses to racial unrest within a broad comparative perspective.  
Historically, corporations and the pressure placed on them by fears of the loss of reputation and public good will have propelled many social justice movements. Some, however, have worked openly as well as through clandestine backchannels to suppress such movements. In this special issue, we interrogate the ways in which corporations have responded to social pressure and civic unrest (consumer and otherwise) to "do" something. From multinational companies divesting from Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, to corporate responses to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, to contemporary companies posting statements in support of Black Lives Matter on social media accounts following the police killing of George Floyd, such responses have ranged from the purely representational to the more substantive variety of systemic change within a corporation's shareholders. 
The editors are thus inviting original essays that analyze from an historical perspective corporate responses to social unrest that consider (or relate to) the following questions: 
  • What are, if any, the ethical responsibilities of corporations in moments of social unrest?  
  • How might stakeholder theory be relevant within discussions of civil society and racial inequality?  
  • How can corporations functioning and co-implicated within a capitalist system effect change? 
  • How and in what ways have the pressures to respond to social justice movements changed over time? 
  • What has been the fiscal impact of corporate responses to racial unrest over the long term?  
  • What have been the incentives for companies to respond? And how have these incentives changed over time?  
  • What special cases are worth pointing out across a global perspective as models to imitate and/or excoriate?  

The editors welcome other topics, too, that might relate to the theme of the special issue. Essays should be around 7,500 to 10,000 words with a hard limit of 12,000 words and formatted according to the style of Enterprise & Society. (Please refer to their Instructions for Authors page for specific guidance.) The deadline for submission is 1 February 2022.  

If you are interested in submitting an essay for review, please submit your essay through Enterprise & Society s Manuscript Central by the due date of 1 February 2022. Upon submission, you will be given an option to indicate that you are submitting to a special issue. If you have questions about the special issue or expressions of interest, please contact either Dr. Thate ( or Dr. Maddox ( 

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