Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Major Advisor

Brian Wampler, Ph.D.


Ross Burkhart, Ph.D.


Isaac Castellano, Ph.D.


This thesis investigates the evolution of the Corporate Social Responsibility field. The field's history reveals a current trend that seeks to understand how corporations are transforming into corporate citizens fundamentally responsibly for granting the public the right to participate in their governance. This participation creates a space of contestation regarding corporate behavior where actors in civil society make specific claims on the corporation. I present a framework through which we can understand this process: civil society actors form networks to bring salience to a specific claim, pressure the corporation to act, and morph into an accountability mechanism regarding enduring corporate behavior on their claim. In an initial use of this framework, I evaluate Nike, Home Depot, and Starbucks' response to networks to reveal three key variables that contribute to the successful creation of this space: corporate transparency, endurance of civil society pressure, and network formalization.