Corporate social responsibility and the grammar of human rights

corporate governance
business and human rights
Social & Legal Studies, 28(5), 625–649

Ciarán O’Kelly


January 10, 2019

The paper is available here.

A preprint is available here.

A codebook for the paper is available here.

This paper explores the language of corporate accounts of business and human rights. Using innovative methods drawn from computational corpus linguistics, the paper explores discussions of business and human rights in a dataset composed of 346 corporate social responsibility reports drawn from firms in extractive industries. The paper concludes that human rights are ‘put to work’ in corporate accounts by reconfiguring their meaning to draw them into the ‘familiar frames’ of business accounting narratives.


BibTeX citation:
  author = {O’Kelly, Ciarán},
  title = {Corporate Social Responsibility and the Grammar of Human
  journal = {Social \& Legal Studies},
  volume = {28},
  number = {5},
  pages = {625–649},
  date = {2019-01-10},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
O’Kelly, Ciarán. 2019. “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Grammar of Human Rights.” Social & Legal Studies 28 (5): 625–49.