CHAPTER

11

Divestment as the Ultimate Escalation of Engagement

You want to make change. You engaged with the company by writing and meeting with them. You filed a shareholder resolution and took it to the annual general meeting. You voted your proxy, and your resolution got a decent vote. But the company—in fact, the whole industry—is simply continuing with business as usual. What else can you do?

Paul Neuhauser’s shareholder resolutions with General Motors, asking the company to cease business in South Africa, shows that time and again, shareholders working together can bring about meaningful and lasting reforms. In the case of South Africa, a critical component that led to the fall of apartheid was a worldwide divestment campaign against firms ...

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