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Private Pressure for Social Change in South Africa: the Impact of the Sullivan Principles

Alexandra Bernasek () and Richard Porter

Review of Social Economy, 1997, vol. 55, issue 2, 172-193

Abstract: The Sullivan Principles represented an attempt in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States to apply private pressure, as an alternative to government sanctions, to put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In this paper we assess the impact of the Principles on the employment practices of a sample of U.S. firms operating in South Africa that were signatories to the Principles. We examine the extent of their commitment to improving conditions of employment for their nonwhite employees, in the areas of employment growth, wages, and advancement into management and supervisory positions. Our results indicate that the impact of the Sullivan Principles was modest at best. The evidence leads to the conclusion that in this case, private pressure was not a powerful force for social change.

Keywords: Sullivan Principles; South Africa; Apartheid; Corporate responsibility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997
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Working Paper: Private Pressure for Social Change in south Africa: The Impact of the Sullivan Principles (1990)
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DOI: 10.1080/00346769700000032

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