The essay has been written discussing various aspects with respect to CSR and different aspects highlighted in the article by Levy and Kaplan referred above. These include study of CSR as ‘More Democratic Governance’ and CSR as ‘Privatised Governance’. Further different aspects that have been included in this essay are history of CSR initiative related to Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Based on both these aspects it has been analysed whether RSPO initiative has been is group created as a result of “civic regulation” or as enhancing corporate power by “privatising” regulatory authority .
Based on the above study it can be said that both perspectives of CSR practices are quite important. Considering the RSPO group although started as corporate initiative it later got transformed into democratic governance. Started as an initiative of Unilever various stakeholders have been involved. The scheme has been successful in uniting different sectors such as banking, consumer goods manufacturer, oil palm producers, retailers and traders. The steps taken by RSPO can help in minimizing the negative impact of cultivation of palm oil on environment and the various stakeholders. Further it has been observed that the role of government is important for taking the group to another level. Without the intervention of government the further progress is very unlikely to be made. The initiative of Unilever is quite appreciable and has been able to benefit millions. However the support of government will take the initiative to the next level.
The essay is being concluding with the observation that in the initial phases RSPO had privatised governance perspective as given by Levy and Kaplan. Over the period of time, as more participants join the group, the democratic perspective has to be developed (Carner, 2002). The RSPO group has gone through different phases and the role and level of participation have changed. The Levy and Kaplan’s framework has helped in better understanding of the political effects of this particular global governance initiative i.e. RSPO.