My master’s thesis discusses the origins and implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in the Nicaraguan sugar sector. In the case presented, a leading Nicaraguan sugar producer agreed to join a mediated dialogue led by the World Bank’s Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman in the hopes of settling a dispute with former field workers protesting an epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that had been ravaging their community. Asking how the complex local situation could be made to fit the collaborative framework set out by the dialogue, I follow the company’s transition from an ‘irresponsible’ to a ‘caring enterprise’. My analysis traces the conflicting ideas and practices adopted in the creation of the dialogue and their consequences, both for the dialogue partners and their ‘others’: the non-parties and critics of the mediation framework.
Lukas Milo Strauss