Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies


Global Studies

First Advisor

Ajit Abraham


Through the lens of the free-trade-optimist, it is black and white: corporations bring jobs, and jobs equal a happy and healthy economy. A major oversight in this neoliberal Utopian ideology is that corporations are not in the business of building communities, nor do they have an interest in keeping their operations stationary enough to allow economic growth to occur over a span of years. Corporations abandon communities as quickly as they arrive to find their next cheap labor hub. Quite contradictory to the original purpose of free trade, economic growth in Free Trade Zones is not long term or secure. If anything, the neoliberal global economic system is abusing developing communities by exploiting their human and environmental resources with little concern for legality or ethics. This essay highlights ethical issues presented to the global community by free-market fundamentalism. The author analyzes pro and con viewpoints for neoliberalism, and looks critically at the role of corporate social responsibility in stabilizing communities and encouraging economic growth in free trade zones.