When consumption becomes political – Consumer empowerment and corporate socially responsible behaviour in times of economic crises

Fabián Echegaray
Market Analysis, Brazil

INTRODUCTION

Thirty-four out of the hundred largest GDPs in the world belong to corporations.1 This was the case in 2005 and we have all the reason to believe that – as a result of the continuous wave of mergers and acquisitions, privatization of public companies and uninterrupted global economic growth until the last quarter of 2008 – this number has since increased. At the same time, government and states have decreased in size since the end of the 1980s. The state divestiture of companies and services through the vast process of privatizations in the 1990s left governments with less resources and responsibilities – and this was particularly acute in Latin America under the influence of the policy advice of the washington consensus.