In the wake of the failure of mining-led development to procure the development promise it carried, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been proposed as one major way to leverage CSR can make to poverty alleviation and other development goals. However, several scholars and practitioners of development have come to the conclusion that current CSR approaches do not warrant such claims. There is thus the need for a critical approach to the strengths and limitations of CSR, one that poses questions that hitherto have been unasked or neglected. There is further need for more critical perspectives to understand what CSR does, and what it could mean for the poor and marginalized in developing countries. Drawing on Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach, this is what this study seeks to understand: how, when and through what means business can help to reduce poverty, while recognizing the equally powerful potential of the business community to exacerbate poverty.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, mining, poverty