Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Business, Government, and Ethics in an Era of Globalization; Conversation with David Vogel, Solomon P. Lee Distinguished Professor in Business Ethics, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; July 11, 2007, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is David Vogel who is the Solomon P. Lee Distinguished Professor in Business Ethics.  He is also editor of the California Management Review and professor of political science at UC Berkeley. Of his many publications, two we will be discussing today are Kindred Strangers: The Uneasy Relationship Between Politics and Business in America, and The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... Queens College ... business - government relations ... ethics in business ... the sixties and Ralph Nader
  2. Political Science and Business ... unique culture of Haas School of Business ... skills needed to do both disciplines ... finding literature on both topics ... US historical relationship between business and government ... compared to European countries ... variance over time
  3. Environmental Issues ... 1970 environmental legislation ... 1977 through 1990 and beyond ... the role of public pressure ... the role of presidential administrative priorities ... the role of bureaucracy and cost-benefit analyses ... comparing US and Britain/EU policies
  4. Keeping an Open Mind ... real-world changes ... reassessing one's earlier work ... reassessing earlier influences ... US and EU flip-flop ... influence of EU on European national regulatory policies ... speculating on the future of environmental policy
  5. Doing Good while Doing Well ... activism in the US and elsewhere ... the basic conflict of ethics and business ... naïve faith in corporate social responsibility ... isolated success stories ... sin qua non of interest alignment ... the need for legal enforcement ... the question of benchmarks ... similar conditions in Europe ... importance of regulatory efforts ... global pressures on corporations ... private philanthropy by corporate winners ... Gates and Buffet ... corruption ... making choices

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