Lester M. Salamon is Director of the Center for Civil Society Studies, the Institute for Policy Studies, The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including The State of Nonprofit America (Brookings Institution Press, 2002), The Tools of Government: A Guide to the New Governance (Oxford University Press, 2002), and Global Civil Society Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector [volume one] (Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 1999). This last book, the companion volume to Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector [Volume Two], won the Virginia Hodgkinson Prize, Independent Sector, 2001.
The book presents a fresh and timely assessment of the exploding growth of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Latin America, documneting progress in five countries: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Little is known about the extent of CSR in Latin America; some observers consider it the least covered of the developing-country regions and/or a region for which widely cited studies underestimate the practice of CSR, relying on websites and company annual reports. Lester Salamon applies his academic rigor, global experience and thoughtful insight to the issue of corporate social engagement in Latin America, providing the reader with a greater understanding of the need and potential for cross-sector collaboration with civil society in this dynamic region. A fascinating and richly documented portrait of the distinctive features that have characterized the growth of corporate social responsibility in Latin America. This book adds significantly to our understanding of the cultural and social factors that shape how and why corporations chose to engage with social issues, and in doing so, makes an important contribution to the literature on the global spread of corporate social responsibility. This book covers one of the most essential, underdeveloped tools with which private businesses can enhance the quality of life in Latin America. It underscores the need to listen to, engage with and contribute to the development of civil society in order for corporate responsibility practices to be effective. This book provides a much needed wake-up call to many private businesses that are accustomed to a top-down, opportunistic approach. A timely and illuminating exploration of business engagement in Latin America s recent development pathway. Lester Salamon has masterfully organized the vast body of information he collected at the request of the Inter-American Foundation into a cohesive, lively, one-of-a-kind narrative detailing the practices progress and potential of Latin American corporations, including many IAF partners, in their exercise of social responsibility. Adds significantly to our understanding of the cultural and social factors that shape how and why corporations choose to engage with social issues. This is a short yet outstanding book... the book takes us beyond a simple assessmentof CSR in Latin America and introduces the idea of Corporate Social Engagement, which will certainly pull the debate on CSR towards new promising frontiers.