Populism and CSR: under what conditions do firms contest or contribute to democratic backsliding and the erosion of human rights protections in populist political contexts?

Project: EU Commission

Project Details


Large companies have the power to influence economies and how democracy is enacted in Europe. This tends to result in 'market-conforming capitalism' where, instead of lobbying in the interests of citizens, they push for regulations that serve their own interests. In some cases, they are showing more interest in sustainability and tentative routes toward an alternative ‘democracy-conforming capitalism’. In this debate, the application of political-science lenses has black-boxed large companies. The EU-funded REBALANCE project will explore the mutual influence among large companies and democracies. It will investigate how large companies contributed to past and present threats to democracy and how they can promote future democracy-enhancing business models and alternative organisational forms.
Effective start/end date1/10/2230/09/25

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath
  • University of Pisa (lead)
  • Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
  • Hertie School
  • Wageningen University and Research
  • Stockholm University
  • Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University
  • Source International Onlus


  • EU - Horizon 2020


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