1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Publications


UNRISD pursues an active and varied publications programme, which includes in-house and commercially published books, special reports, programme and occasional papers, as well as newsletters on specific events and the Institute’s work in general.

This section provides a catalogue of our publications, and free online access to many of them. We encourage you to subscribe to our free email alerts service to be informed when new publications are posted on this Web site.

Highlights...

Corporate Sustainability Accounting: What Can and Should Corporations Be Doing?—Full Report

November 2020

Corporate Sustainability Accounting: What Can and Should Corporations Be Doing?—Full Report

Author: Peter Utting, Kelly O'Neill

Today’s global crises—financial, climate and health—as well as the Sustainable Development Goals have raised the bar in terms of expectations regarding corporate sustainability performance. They have also highlighted the need for sustainability policy and practices that address not only the symptoms of unsustainable development, but also the underlying causes associated with structural conditions that reproduce inequality, vulnerability and planetary degradation. How, then, might corporate sustainability disclosure and reporting be repurposed to achieve these ends and, in so doing, measure and promote progress from the perspective of the transformational vision of the SDGs?

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Reconfiguring Power Relations: The Missing Link in Sustainability Reporting

December 2020

Reconfiguring Power Relations: The Missing Link in Sustainability Reporting

Author: Peter Utting

While corporations are being urged to shift to a more inclusive model of “stakeholder capitalism”, the reality is that power relations have become highly skewed in favour of particular interests, not least those of corporate or managerial elites. Lack of attention to power relations and how they need to be reconfigured is the elephant in the room when assessing how corporations perform in relation to sustainable development.

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Responding to Protracted Displacement Using the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus Approach: UNDP and UNHCR Theory of Change

November 2020

Responding to Protracted Displacement Using the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus Approach: UNDP and UNHCR Theory of Change

Author: Rebecca Roberts

The increasingly complex and protracted nature of forced displacement has precipitated a renewed interest in adopting a Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) nexus approach in the UN, the international community and among donors. The project developed a Theory of Change (ToC) for use at the country level to support UNDP-UNHCR collaboration on forced protracted displacement; to understand how UNDP-UNHCR intervention responses support forcibly displaced persons, host populations and host governments; and to inform measures to prevent displacement. Responses should be people centred, needs based and not status based, so UNDP and UNHCR should work with other organizations to support different displaced groups depending on mandate, capacity and the presence of stakeholders. Contexts vary so target populations might, for example, include refugees and asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and stateless persons alongside host populations.

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Responding to Protracted Displacement Using the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus Approach: Scoping Study

November 2020

Responding to Protracted Displacement Using the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus Approach: Scoping Study

Author: Rebecca Roberts

This scoping study has been commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to inform the development of a Theory of Change (ToC; UNRISD 2020) that illustrates the potential for their interventions, based on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) nexus, to work toward longer-term solutions and to reinforce, strategic collaboration in situations of forced displacement in low- and middle-income countries. Contexts vary so target populations might, for example, include refugees and asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and stateless persons alongside host populations. The study was conducted by the United Nations Research Institute for Sustainable Development (UNRISD) between March and June 2020 and is based on a desk review and remote individual or group discussions with 50 people from UNDP, UNHCR and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Business Elites in Panama: Sources of Power and State Capture

November 2020

Business Elites in Panama: Sources of Power and State Capture

Author: Julian Cardenas, Francisco Robles-Rivera

A well-established line of academic inquiry argues that state capture emerges in contexts of weak governance institutions. However, Panama is an outlier case featuring high levels of state capture despite strong governance institutions. To better understand state capture in Panama, this paper investigates the sources from which business elites draw their power—income control, business cohesion, political campaign contributions and revolving doors. Results show that state capture arose in Panama along with high income concentration among top elites, cohesion among a small cluster of family business groups, big businesses coordinating their electoral contributions, and appointments of businesspeople to strategic government positions. In closing, we suggest possible avenues of research to continue deciphering state capture, and provide some policy recommendations to reduce state capture in Panama.

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