The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) compliance is a behavioral process with close connections to ethics. The rationale and assumptions behind the CSR discours are that (i) business should comply with social and environmental issues, (ii) business should behave in an ethical manner and demonstrate the highest level of integrity and transparency in the operations, and (iii) business should enhance social welfare. Therefore, CSR commitments have to encompass mechanisms which intend to achieve values and reputation through behavioral processes. Accordingly, CSR principles must include elements such as respect, integrity, communication, and excellence. Since many businesses are acting on a global level, the image of sovereign nations with a strong steering power based on the territoriality concept is no more realistic. Therefore, in order to avoid a race to the bottom, the regulatory vacuum in crossborder regulations must be overcome. Since nation states are territorially bounded, but economic activities are increasingly transcending national boundaries, solutions are to be developed allowing to implement a set of CSR standards that are generally applicable and acceptable in a transnational context.
This chapter assesses the regulatory regimes which could be developed in order to fill the normative vacuum in der CSR field. The most realistic solution goes into the direction of self-regulatory principles bundled by international standard-setting bodies and backed by a legal framework adopted on a multinational level.