Inaugural lecture by Professor Andreas Rasche

Hard Times for Soft Law?’ – Governing for Sustainability Through Voluntary Standards

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 15:00 to 16:15

Hard Times for Soft Law?’ – Governing for Sustainability Through Voluntary Standards

In his inaugural lecture Andreas Rasche will discuss the opportunities and limits of soft law governance in the context of corporate sustainability. His lecture is divided into two parts. The first part explores the contested role of voluntary sustainability standards (e.g. the Forest Stewardship Council and the UN Global Compact). The discussion focuses on three questions: (1) Where do these standards get their legitimacy from, given that they mostly reflect private regulatory schemes?, (2) Will the ‘market for sustainability’ support the co-existence of multiple standards with similar goals in the long run?, and (3) Can we expect the UN system to play a more serious role in advancing soft law governance for sustainability?

The second part of the lecture outlines a research agenda for this field of study. Andreas Rasche will highlight the importance of better understanding the socially constructed nature of indicators underlying such standards,  particularly the process of turning qualitative sustainability problems into quantitative measures. Finally, he will emphasize the need for considering material aspects (e.g., the role of objects and physical environments) when theorizing how these initiatives are produced, adopted, and disseminated.

Andreas Rasche is Professor of Business in Society at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) where he is affiliated with the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR) at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management. He joined CBS from the University of Warwick and holds a doctoral degree from European Business School, Germany as well as a Habilitation from Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg. He has widely published on the changing nature of business-society relations in leading international journals and serves on the editorial boards of Organization Studies, Business Ethics Quarterly, and Business & Society.


15:00 Welcome and Introduction by Dean of Research Alan Irwin


15:15 Lecture by Professor Andreas Rasche

16:15 Reception at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Porcelænshaven 18A, 1st floor.


The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Society and Communication // 02/28/2017