Marketing Generosity: The Avon
Worldwide Fund for Women's
Health and the Reinvention of
Global Corporate Citizenship
The observation that political, economic, and technological changes over the past two decades have removed barriers from markets that until recently were closed or highly regulated is by now familiar.1 Although the specific effects of the end of the Cold War, the emergence of international trade blocs, the expanding influence of bodies such as the World Trade Organization, and the availability of new technologies are the subject of ongoing debate, it is generally acknowledged that corporations play a more central role in international relations of power than they did prior to this period and that new configurations of economic activity have profound implications for the territoriality and sovereignty of nation-states (Barber, 1995; Jameson and Miyoshi, 1998; Sassen 1998; Frank, 2000).
The economic and legal trajectories of the current global order have emerged in coincidence with a profusion of local, regional, and transnational NGOs and social movements that constitute in the eyes of some commentators a burgeoning global civil society. However, the extraordinary diversity of NGOs and social movements in existence, in conjunction with the multiple, often contradictory, meanings of civil society in circulation make coherent theoretical analyses of this phenomena decidedly difficult. Frederic Jameson's (1998) discussion of the two distinct levels at which the idea of civil society operates is useful in this respect. He points out that this term signifies both the political “freedom” of social groups to negotiate their political contract and the economic “freedom” of the marketplace as a dynamic space of innovation and production, distribution and consumption. Crucially, however, he notes that there is frequent slippage between the political and the economic as one level is “slyly” substituted for the other in “a kind of ideological prestidigitation” (p. xiii).