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Political Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Project Description

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project based in the School of Management under the supervision of Dr Kostas Iatridis (https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/kostas-iatridis) and Professor Andrew Crane (https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/andrew-crane).


Populist nationalist leaders, like Bolsonaro in Brazil, Trump in the US and Conte in Italy, are the consequence of deeply rooted economic, political and cultural shifts that have occurred in democracies over the last three decades or so. Key aspects of these leaders’ narrative is a widespread suspicion against those controlling government and important institutions, and a resistance to science, as illustrated by the extensive questioning of the significance of environmental challenges, such as climate change. Populist nationalism is also characterised by discrimination at the expense of inclusion, as the latter is being narrowed down to the protection of a single national identity, who fears a loss of its status in society.

With few exceptions, businesses’ reaction to these developments has been surprisingly passive. As illustrated in the last World Economic Forum in Davos, businesses might be willing to ignore the inflammatory rhetoric frequently adopted by populist nationalists if their financial interests are promoted. Such an approach on behalf of the private sector raises questions about the way it will continue addressing its social and environmental responsibilities. Will such populism limit the corporate perception of responsibility to legal compliance and shareholder value maximisation? Or will such populism be used by the private sector as an opportunity to resume an even more politically influential role in favour of an environmentally friendly, and inclusive business conduct?

Answering these questions is important, as the way businesses will adapt to the new political environment will heavily influence their perception of their responsibilities and their role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant discipline.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form: https://samis.bath.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RDUMN-FP01&code2=0014

Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020.

Funding Notes

Candidates applying for this project will be considered for a University studentship, which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support grant of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 4 years. Limited funding opportunities for outstanding Overseas candidates may be available. Some School of Management studentships require recipients to contribute annually up to a maximum of 133 hours of seminar-based teaching and assessment in years 2, 3 and 4 of study (students will not be expected to give lectures).

How good is research at University of Bath in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 64.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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