Department of Management, Society and Communication

  • CBS Sustainability
  • Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS)
Maha Rafi

Room: DH.Ø.2.41
Maha Atal

I take a political economy approach to the study of corporate power. My doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Cambridge, focused on corporations as governing authorities, examining “corporate social responsibility” as a system of Company Rule in India, Kenya and South Africa. I am also interested in how corporations exercise influence in the media and in politics, and in corporate accountability under international law. In addition to my academic career, I am an award-winning business journalist, with work published in ForbesFortune, BusinessWeek, The Guardian, and The New Statesman, among others. I am a former Editor-in-Chief of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, and the co-founder and Executive Director of Public Business, a non-profit supporting reporting, research and discussion about the wider impact of business actions.

Primary research areas
  • corporate power
  • corporate social responsibility as governance
  • political economy of media
  • corporations and international law
  • international political economy
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Selected publications

Atal, Maha Rafi (2018), “The Cultural and Economic Power of Advertisers in the Business Press,” in Journalism, Advance online publication, September 2017.

Atal, Maha Rafi (2017), “White Capital: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Failure of Transformation in post-apartheid South Africa,” in Extractive Industries and Society, 4 (4): 735-743.

Atal, Maha Rafi (2017), “Competing Forms of Media Capture in Developing Democracies,” in Anya Schiffrin, ed. In The Service of Power: Media Capture and the Threat to Democracy. Washington, D.C.: Center for International Media Assistance.

Outside activities

Currently no outside activities