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Book cover: Research in Economic Anthropology

Research in Economic Anthropology

ISSN: 0190-1281
Series editor(s): Dr. Donald Wood

Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy

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NGO campaigns and banks: Constituting risk and uncertainty

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Title:NGO campaigns and banks: Constituting risk and uncertainty
Author(s):Rebecca Lawrence
Volume:28 Editor(s): Geert De Neve, Luetchford Peter, Jeffrey Pratt, Donald C. Wood ISBN: 978-1-84855-058-2 eISBN: 978-1-84855-059-9
Citation:Rebecca Lawrence (2008), NGO campaigns and banks: Constituting risk and uncertainty, in Geert De Neve, Luetchford Peter, Jeffrey Pratt, Donald C. Wood (ed.) Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility (Research in Economic Anthropology, Volume 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.241-269
DOI:10.1016/S0190-1281(08)28011-X (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:This chapter analyses the private financial sector's policy responses, lending practices and various forms of engagement with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), communities and institutional clients involved in controversial commodity industries. The chapter demonstrates that secrecy plays a constitutive role in this engagement. For investment banks, client-confidentiality is the ultimate limit to transparency. At the same time, NGOs campaign to make public and reveal links between investment banks and clients in commodity industries. The chapter also explores techniques within the financial sector for the assessment of social and environmental risk. The chapter argues that these techniques combine both practices of uncertainty and practices of risk. For civil society organisations, NGOs and local communities, these techniques remain problematic, and various campaigns question both the robustness of the financial sector's social risk screening methods as well as the sustainability of the investments themselves.

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