Sustainable Good Governance and Corporations: An Analysis of Asymmetries

44 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2006

See all articles by Surya Deva

Surya Deva

City University of Hong Kong


This article examines critically the three asymmetries related to the place and role of corporations in the project of sustainable good governance. The first asymmetry is between the potential and policies of corporations vis-a-vis the goal of sustainable good governance. It is argued that although the engagement of corporations is critical to accomplish sustainable good governance, many corporations are still not willing or able to do what they could and should do. Regulatory initiatives are abound to bridge this gap between corporate potential and policies. However, as actions of corporations do not generally match with the expectations of these regulatory regimes, this creates a second asymmetry: the divergence between expectations from and actions of corporations. The third asymmetry is between corporate hesitation to assume responsibilities as good corporate citizens and their willingness to assume such responsibilities. This article contends that this final asymmetry arises because the economic reasons justifying corporate contribution to sustainable good governance (goodwill-nomics) do not remedy the hesitation that some corporations might have in taking the plunge towards sustainable good governance (prisoner's dilemma).

Keywords: Sustainable Development; Good Governance; Role of Multinational Corporation; Business Case; Prisoner's Dilemma, Goodwill-nomics

Suggested Citation

Deva, Surya, Sustainable Good Governance and Corporations: An Analysis of Asymmetries. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, Vol. 18, pp. 707-750, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Surya Deva (Contact Author)

City University of Hong Kong ( email )

School of Law
83 Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics