This forum brings together a diverse group of scholars from international relations, international political economy, sociology, geography and development studies, to explore ‘Brand Aid’— a new concept in studies of North-South relations that can be advanced by IPE/IPS scholarship. In Brand Aid, branded products are sold to ‘ethical’ consumer/citizens through celebrities who link them to worthy causes in developing countries. Brand Aid is ‘aid to brands’ because it helps sell products and improve a brand’s ethical profile and value. It is also ‘brands that provide aid’ because a proportion of the profit or sales is devoted to helping ‘distant others’. Brand Aid reconfigures images and representations of the legitimate role of business, civil society and the state (and their overlaps) in North-South relations in ways that are not easily situated between ‘exploitation’ and ‘development’.
International Political Sociology, 2013, Vol 7, Issue 1, p. 92-93