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Peer-Review Record

Public Strategy and Eco-Social Engagement in Latin American States: An Analysis of Complex Networks Arising from Their Constitutions

Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8558; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208558
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8558; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208558
Received: 31 August 2020 / Revised: 28 September 2020 / Accepted: 10 October 2020 / Published: 16 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

This manuscript promises to show how Latin American constitutions affect public policy outcomes. Specifically, since the submission is to an environmentally-oriented journal, I would expect it to focus on environmental concerns. The best part of the manuscript is the data source. The availability of different Latin American constitutions makes for an interesting opportunity to study what and when certain constitutional features lead to the kind of public policies that the author is interested in. Unfortunately, I’m just not sure the manuscript accomplishes its goal. Below, I present two overarching concerns while also offering possible solutions. I then talk about some more minor issues.

 

Large concern 1. The article, at times, is inaccessible. It takes too long to understand what the paper is about—what the puzzle or research question is. This needs to be more upfront and less mired in seemingly random factoids about specific constitutions. Make the research question the center of the article. Make the rest of the paper about unpacking that research question. For instance, Figures 1-4 are presented as if the reader should know what they are trying to say. I have no idea what any of them connote. That’s problematic. In fact, most of the article seems to hinge on figures that do not make much sense. I would advocate that the author bring the text of the constitutions (and the real-world politics of the countries) more to the fore. This leads to my next point.

 

This manuscript would gain its most analytical leverage by asking: what parts of Latin American constitutions lead to sustainable policies? And what—in addition to those parts of constitutions—does it take to best enable those policies to flourish. Put differently, under what conditions (a mix of constitutional structures and political forces on the ground) do Latin American countries produce sustainable policies? At times, the article starts to do a little of this (lines 289 and 589). Those are the times when the research is at its best. For instance, it seems like Ecuador has a good combination: positive constitutional mandates and a public that his behind those mandates. That, of course, is overly simplistic. But in comparing countries, their constitutions, and their politics, we can start to unpack the textual and behavioral features needed to produce certain outcomes. That should be the heart of the manuscript. I believe it can be done. In fact, I think the table in the Appendix is a good starting point and can be used to identify certain constitutional clauses. Those can then be tested against the politics of any individual country.

 

Smaller items:

-the manuscript gets away from sustainability and environmental concerns. It should be more narrow in scope. Less on rights, more on the environment.

-the manuscript gets a little too normative at times. Stick with the empirical research question. At times, it comes off a little too “preachy”

-it should progress less as a list of “Country X does this. Country Y does this.” Instead, I would compare countries to show conditions that answer the research question.

 

In sum, I’d orient the paper around a more tractable research question—one, which, I believe is already there in the paper. I’m not asking the author to write an entirely new paper. I just think it should focus on something that is more related to the journal’s scope, easier to follow, and that gives the author a landscape for which to use his/her really great data and subsequent comparative research skills.

Author Response

Dear Reviewer 1,

First of all, I wish to thank you for the thoroughness, kindness and courtesy you have shown in your review.  I fully understand and value the work of a reviewer, which in many cases receives no other reward than the professional satisfaction of carrying out a vital task and the respect of fellow academics who, after months (or years) of work on a project, submit their papers for evaluation.  As the lead author of this manuscript, I too review a number of articles throughout the year. 

In this case, your indications and advice seem entirely constructive, with the clear purpose of improving the study.  Understandably, we have had to balance your comments with some of the recommendations of the other two reviewers (3 in total), in order to avoid contradictions in the text.  I enjoy the challenge of incorporating corrections and suggestions and the process, of course, helps all writers to grow, learn and avoid future mistakes.  These 10 days that I have been given to make all possible changes have been exhausting since making a synthesis of the informed views of three experts in a relatively short time is a mammoth task.  However, even where entire passages have needed to be altered in accordance with your review, I have diligently attempted to respond to your recommendations.

It is true that it is a very broad-ranging article but I feel it makes a valid contribution because of its theoretical basis and the depth of work invested in it. At first, I had thought merely to analyze certain environmental parameters within select countries, but I realized it was more worthwhile to research and present a panorama of all Latin America (where I reside) since this would make it the first such study of the region to carry out a comparative analysis of specific indicators that would be a useful reference point for future research. Sustainability processes are very broad and the normative aspects of the study (in all their dimensions) are, I think, essential even if there are other papers published in this journal that are more adept in this regard. In order to implement environmental sustainability processes (bearing in mind that this is not the only type of sustainability), we have considered it appropriate to deal with second, third and fourth generation rights.   Environmental sustainability is not to be separated from other freedoms and social progress. Consequently, much of what you have suggested we wish to address fully in our second paper on this subject, that is, to analyze only those articles related to environmental aspects, as well as the non-regulatory processes (mainly at the corporate level) that can improve these standards.

The work, both the original submission and the altered version, has been very complex to carry out.  The breadth of readings and the depth of analysis required were considerable, but the writing-up was especially demanding in order to make so many different aspects coherent and attractive for the reader.  As an example of the difficulty we faced, the constitution of one country may appear less "social" or "environmental" than that of another, but certain parameters of the second constitution encourage greater sustainability and expenditure than those of constitutions with a greater a priori commitment. The overall purpose was to present a general overview of sustainability in the region to fellow researchers without focusing on a particular constitution (which I believe we have achieved through the wide range of techniques and resources offered by the social sciences, notwithstanding the logical shortcomings of such an extensive work).

- We have clarified and deepened the overall research question.

- It is true that there is a great abundance of statistics. Unless it is indicated which specific instances ought to be omitted, we feel that they help the reader to comprehend the current problem in all of its dimensions in Latin America at the social and environmental level.  This is important, at least in this first work that seeks to present a panorama. In subsequent submissions on the topic, this consideration will certainly be addressed.

- Sustainability processes are not only environmental, in fact there is a correlation between different dimensions. The greater the social commitment, the greater the environmental undertaking.  Certainly, this is the situation as we have seen it in Latin America.

- Some of the results have been reformulated.

- Specific research questions have been clarified.

- The environmental aspect has been further developed to include percentages and constitutional relationships with other areas, such as free trade agreements and other laws.

- The figures have been removed to give more emphasis to the tables as suggested, as well as to reduce the length of the text in regard to the word limit.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

The paper is well-written and arranged.  The paper overall is long description of different qualities across Latin American constitutions.

Before publication, I recommend some changes, perhaps some that may be considered considerable.  

First, I struggle to find a central argument. As is, the paper presents a kind of description of qualities present in constitutions. There are many, but are some more salient than others? When do some countries have had more constitutional reforms than others? How effective are certain constitutions in promoting social rights, than others?  Why have certain changes taken place at some times rather than others?  I mean, these are just a few questions I had when reading, but that are not answered. Each could constitute a paper in their own right.  

Second, there is the idea of social responsibility that appears early in the paper. I thought it would be a bigger part of the paper, but it didnt.  I wonder if there is some confusion as to what is social responsibility and social rights. 

Third, the intro begins noting many economic issues, such as extractivism and so on. I was wondering if the authors were going to discuss how economic matters conflict with lofty goals in constitutions, or at least discuss something about these tensions. Something from that tension could be part of an argument that could focus the paper.   

Author Response

Dear Reviewer

First of all, I wish to thank you for the thoroughness, kindness and courtesy you have shown in your review.  I fully understand and value the work of a reviewer, which in many cases receives no other reward than the professional satisfaction of carrying out a vital task and the respect of fellow academics who, after months (or years) of work on a project, submit their papers for evaluation.  As the lead author of this manuscript, I too review a number of articles throughout the year. 

In this case, your indications and advice seem entirely constructive, with the clear purpose of improving the study.  Understandably, we have had to balance your comments with some of the recommendations of the other two reviewers (3 in total), in order to avoid contradictions in the text.  I enjoy the challenge of incorporating corrections and suggestions and the process, of course, helps all writers to grow, learn and avoid future mistakes.  These 10 days that I have been given to make all possible changes have been exhausting since making a synthesis of the informed views of three experts in a relatively short time is a mammoth task.  However, even where entire passages have needed to be altered in accordance with your review, I have diligently attempted to respond to your recommendations.

It is true that it is a very broad-ranging article but I feel it makes a valid contribution because of its theoretical basis and the depth of work invested in it. At first, I had thought merely to analyze certain environmental parameters within select countries, but I realized it was more worthwhile to research and present a panorama of all Latin America (where I reside) since this would make it the first such study of the region to carry out a comparative analysis of specific indicators that would be a useful reference point for future research. Sustainability processes are very broad and the normative aspects of the study (in all their dimensions) are, I think, essential even if there are other papers published in this journal that are more adept in this regard. In order to implement environmental sustainability processes (bearing in mind that this is not the only type of sustainability), we have considered it appropriate to deal with second, third and fourth generation rights.   Environmental sustainability is not to be separated from other freedoms and social progress. Consequently, much of what you have suggested we wish to address fully in our second paper on this subject, that is, to analyze only those articles related to environmental aspects, as well as the non-regulatory processes (mainly at the corporate level) that can improve these standards.

The work, both the original submission and the altered version, has been very complex to carry out.  The breadth of readings and the depth of analysis required were considerable, but the writing-up was especially demanding in order to make so many different aspects coherent and attractive for the reader.  As an example of the difficulty we faced, the constitution of one country may appear less "social" or "environmental" than that of another, but certain parameters of the second constitution encourage greater sustainability and expenditure than those of constitutions with a greater a priori commitment. The overall purpose was to present a general overview of sustainability in the region to fellow researchers without focusing on a particular constitution (which I believe we have achieved through the wide range of techniques and resources offered by the social sciences, notwithstanding the logical shortcomings of such an extensive work).

- We have clarified and deepened the overall research question.

- The survey of constitutional reforms in Latin America has been carried out

- The topic of CSR has been clarified in several passages. Social rights evidence social responsibility/social commitment, which is distinct from the CSR that is managed unilaterally by companies.

- Specific research questions have been clarified.

- Constitutional changes are very complex, to the extent that it would be possible to write a separate article for each constitution of the region. They come about due to historical claims, changes of government and political direction, corrosion, etc.

- The environmental aspect has been further developed to include percentages and constitutional relationships with other areas such as free trade agreements and other laws.

- The figures have been removed to give more emphasis to the tables as suggested, as well as to reduce the length of the text in regard to the word limit.

-A subsequent submission will study only the environmental indicators of constitutional texts together with indicators of expenditure through non-constitutional legislative developments. In this case, we found it appropriate to approach social responsibility from different perspectives such as the economic and the social as well as that of environmental responsibility.

 

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

  This essay is good as far as it goes, with an interesting idea—actually looking  at the constitutions of Latin American countries and assessing how their proclaimed goals interact with socioeconomic realities. This has the interesting effect of problematizing the usual opposition between the Pink Tide or Bolivarist countries of Venezuela  and (until recent political changeas0 Bolivia and Ecuador, and those countries that have recently more or less continuously been in pro-capitalist or Washington0friendly hands such as Peru or Chile. Since the constitution is necessary a froze abstraction of the political aspirations, if not the actual political conditions,  of a certain moment, seeing how the documents extend and adapt to circumstances for which they are not explicitly deed can be both heuristic and probative. This may be obvious for documents such as the US Constitution with such a long and storied history, but for instance how does Brazil’s Constitution, drafted under the mildly center-right Sarney government, fare under the PT under Lula and now under the far-right rule of Bolsonaro? How do the eco-friendly and quite radical elements of Correa’s 2008 Ecuadorian Constitution  fare under the policies of his considerably mainstream successor, Lenin Moreno? On the other hand, the 1999 Constitution seems too tied to Chavismo as an ideology that any non-Chavista government probably would want to amend it almost immediately yet would have to claim any legitimacy from the document it wanted to jettison. The authors' somewhat arch comment on the current  Bolivia situation in the footnote on page 2  is to be taken there, and it would be dispiriting to see Constitutions come and go with every regime change, (and the example of 16 Bolivian constitutions, and for that matter 7 in Brazil,  is certainly cautionary!) whereas the point of them should be to govern several different sorts of political orientation but maintain a common core of guiding principles. Ideally, the constitutions would have both elasticity—ability to adapt to different presidential administrations and partisan orientations—but also ingrain a certain innate set of principles into the body politic that would, without simply tethering contemporary fairs to various ‘zombie’ prescriptions,.

       This paper takes on the above question as well as one closer to the immediate horizon of the coverage of Sustainability, that of pro-environmental and ecologically minded  policies that have come to the forefront as awareness of an anthropogenic climate change and the dangers of fossil fuel exhaustion an Amazon deforestation. It does a good job of comparing a wide panoply of constitutional documents and the degree to which they explicitly inappropriate eco-friendly positions. I also really appreciated the acknowledgment that the constitutions of Brazil and Ecuador explicitly refer to Indigenous concepts of cultural and ecological sustainability, and not only acknowledge but in a sense try to gain legitimacy from the long custodianship of the and by these indigenous peoples. Even aside from this fairly revolutionary development, contemporary constitutions have had to grapple with far more ‘positive’ laws than older guiding frameworks, and have had to see rights as belonging not just to individuals but collectives or societies. This has both the advantage and disadvantage of bringing constitutional legality closer to everyday case legality.

     The authors have done fine work, though one detail semes awry: there was no possibility that the 1988 Brazilian constitution (page 3, line 125) would endorse constitutional monarchy; the authors must be confusing it with the debates around the 1891 Constitutional Congress, ninety-seven years before!

   I think in general, though, the essay is somewhat splayed between these two questions 1: How do Latin American constitutions  differ on various contemporary questions, many of them having to do with the environment? 2) To what degree are constitutions an effective means for safeguarding environmental resources and the rights of all to live in a stable and unimperiled climate? Emphasis on one or the other side, in other words on either the descriptive or prescriptive, would only improve what is already a valuable, earnest, and well-evidenced essay.

Author Response

Dear Reviewer:

First of all, I wish to thank you for the thoroughness, kindness and courtesy you have shown in your review.  I fully understand and value the work of a reviewer, which in many cases receives no other reward than the professional satisfaction of carrying out a vital task and the respect of fellow academics who, after months (or years) of work on a project, submit their papers for evaluation.  As the lead author of this manuscript, I too review a number of articles throughout the year. 

In this case, your indications and advice seem entirely constructive, with the clear purpose of improving the study.  Understandably, we have had to balance the recommendations of all of reviewers, seeking where possible to find common ground.

The work, both the original submission and the altered version, has been very complex to carry out.  The breadth of readings and the depth of analysis required were considerable, but the writing-up was especially demanding in order to make so many different aspects coherent and attractive for the reader.  As an example of the difficulty we faced, the constitution of one country may appear less "social" or "environmental" than that of another, but certain parameters of the second constitution encourage greater sustainability and expenditure than those of constitutions with a greater a priori commitment. The overall purpose was to present a general overview of sustainability in the region to fellow researchers without focusing on a particular constitution (which I believe we have achieved through the wide range of techniques and resources offered by the social sciences, notwithstanding the logical shortcomings of such an extensive work).

You wrote:

This has the interesting effect of problematizing the usual opposition between the Pink Tide or Bolivarist countries of Venezuela  and (until recent political changes) Bolivia and Ecuador, and those countries that have recently more or less continuously been in pro-capitalist or Washington-friendly hands such as Peru or Chile. Since the constitution is necessarily a frozen abstraction of the political aspirations, if not the actual political conditions, of a certain moment, seeing how the documents extend and adapt to circumstances for which they are not explicitly [written indeed] can be both heuristic and probative. This may be obvious for documents such as the US Constitution with such a long and storied history, but for instance how does Brazil’s Constitution, drafted under the mildly center-right Sarney government, fare under the PT under Lula and now under the far-right rule of Bolsonaro? How do the eco-friendly and quite radical elements of Correa’s 2008 Ecuadorian Constitution fare under the policies of his considerably mainstream successor, Lenin Moreno? On the other hand, the 1999 Constitution seems too tied to Chavismo as an ideology that any non-Chavista government probably would want to amend it almost immediately yet would have to claim any legitimacy from the document it wanted to jettison

Your comments show wonderful insight and here are some reflections I have made: A) Venezuela's constitution contains fundamental elements when it comes to implementing and developing social economy processes (housing, community radios, etc.). The problem in this case is political, not scientific, and many advanced countries would surely endorse certain passages and articles were they unaware they came from the Venezuelan constitution. B) Ecuador, as you know, has moved faster than its people have allowed it.  The Monticristi constitution in many respects has been very revolutionary (rights concerning nature, good living) but it is really lacking the means for its effective deployment.  The prevailing economic processes have shifted the social economy/associative sector to the point of being residual and subordinate. Moreover, extractivist processes remain stronger than ever. C) Brazil's theme is paradigmatic. I believe that Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia have some common experiences, one of which is how, after "certain political changes" at the social level for a decade, some of their populations have changed political tendencies, perhaps due to immediacy, opportunism, necessity, the media. Perhaps many citizens identified with being middle class when they were actually in the early phase of the consolidation of their rights. D) In Chile, inequality is overwhelming, but their productive model works up to a point. F) The case of Peru is also paradigmatic. In the area of education, it has grown considerably, and it is now in the "green mining" phase of its economy: a contradiction in terms, but one that is bearing fruit. Its constitutional text, however has many lacunae.

- Footnote 1, "The coup d'état in Bolivia was premeditated. The only solution is an agreement to call new elections," is a direct quote from the Washington Post. The idea was, by using a recent reference and a sense of irony, as Rouquié points out (1989), to draw attention to the fact that winning elections in Latin America does not mean gaining power. It was aimed at colleagues less familiar with the subject matter. There are appropriate mentions of the topic within the text itself that connect back to the comment, hence its inclusion.

- The indigenous sector, which I understand to be moved by its passions (as am I), is fraught with contradictions and suffers rejection by much of the non-indigenous population—In Ecuador, 90% of the population. There are major problems within indigenous justice, as well in the protocols of the relation between ordinary and indigenous justice.  The greatness of a people lies in its traditions and adaptability, but the model from my point of view is wrong: they need not seek to be another Silicon Valley. They must seek their own path, as well as develop their own transformational policies, and the cooperative sector is one of these.

- The point about the Brazilian constitution is corrected, both the years, as well as expanding on the part about new rights.

- Aspects related to national environmental commitments (more than 60 lines) have been included

Some of the results and part of the conclusions have been reformulated as far as possible, being expressed more concisely in line with the requirements of one of the reviewers; the time limitation (10 days to make the changes to the original study of a year of full time work) has been challenging, especially while trying to maintain the essence of the original study.

Round 2

Reviewer 1 Report

The author's response suggests that s/he considers certain non-environmental rights & liberties to overlap with sustainability. I disagree, but not to the point where it is problematic. I think protection for ethnic minorities has very little to do with sustainability. It is a matter of political rights, not environmental policy. Still, I will take the author at his/her word and try to interpret the manuscript from his/her point of view. Just because I disagree does not mean that the author's point is illegitimate. It could very well be legitimate.

 

The elimination of the figures and increased prominence of the tables is a lot easier to follow. That is good, because if I couldn't understand the data, I was going to reject the piece outright on re-review. That rejection is unnecessary because of the increased clarity, and I commend the author for making the manuscript more accessible.

 

I think that is the only major improvement made to the manuscript. As it stands, it is largely--though not entirely--descriptive. Telling the percentage of Latin American countries that have Provision X or Provision Y is not analysis. It is counting. What we do with those counts is what matters for a causal analysis. The Concluding Remarks do have a minor improvement: they include some analysis of the conditions under which constitutional provisions can accomplish their intended goals. This is the best part of the manuscript. It probably should occupy more than just 1 page. It takes 755 lines of background to get to the 70 lines that explain why the data is important. That's probably too much of a wind-up with too little of a payoff.

 

But on the whole, the article accomplishes a scholarly endeavor. It has a research question. It has data. It has a conclusion based on the data. That is, in a word, enough. I think the author could make it better by further unpacking the conditions under which constitutional provisions can accomplish their goals. But it does this, even if minimally. It doesn't sprint pass my line for being publishable, but it does cross it.

 

I would give the author a chance to expand the Concluding Remarks by a page or two. If the author chooses to do so, and if the Editor wants another round of review, I'll look at those extra pages or two. If I do so, I will read it very generously understanding that the harshest thing I should be allowed to say is, "Delete those extra 1-2 pages, go back to the previous version, and publish that version." In other words, I think some version of this manuscript should publish; but I would give the author a chance to make it even better so that it can have more of an impact on those who read it. If the author chooses to write 1-2 more pages, might I suggest taking one and/or the other approaches:

-Add in more about how constitutional provisions are not good enough. They need to be mixed with on-the-ground leadership. The author actually does a nice job setting this up earlier in the article with a discussion about administrators. In the Concluding Remarks, the author could circle back to that and explain how the actions of bureaucrats (from presidents to low-level staffers) certainly matter, but constitutional provisions provide obstacles and opportunities.

 

-Add in a very short comparative case study. I am thinking 2-3 paragraphs total that look at two Latin American countries that have similar constitutional provisions but different operational procedures and/or governmental structures. For instance, if Country X and Country Y have the same constitutional provisions on Sustainability Issue Z, why does it seem that Country X is doing better on Issue Z than Country Y? What about the day-to-day operation of Country X's government (an item that is missing from Country Y) allows Country X to flourish on Issue Z?

 

I think adding something along these lines to the Concluding Remarks would allow the manuscript to contribute more to our understanding of sustainability.

Author Response

Dear professor and colleague,

Thank you for your kind answer and your work and dedication in reviewing my paper. I am glad to find that there remain such committed professionals, willing to work disinterestedly, as you clearly are.  At least as far as my submission is concerned, you have taken time and trouble above and beyond the requirements of a reviewer in order to help it achieve the greatest impact possible. Please allow me to clarify or defend some points:

1) You wrote: “Certain non-environmental rights & liberties to overlap with sustainability.”  I think I must have explained this badly and I apologize for that. What I mean to say is that sustainability processes can be applied / developed to different dimensions such as the social or the economic, and these have a connection with the environment. None predominates over the others since they have different scope and depth. In analyzing the constitutions, there are interrelationships between the progress of each country and these dimensions. Certainly, there is no "advance" in environmental aspects without the advancement of other rights such as education.

 2) The protection of ethnic minorities (many of them indigenous) in areas such as Peru, Brazil and Ecuador, promotes the conservation of biodiversity, e.g. through promoting non-extractivist subsistence. At least that's what the UN says and I inserted the relevant citation. I have visited dozens of indigenous communities and some surely are not very sustainable (and indeed are polluters) but in many others, respect and support for the environment is in evidence and, with it, sustainable development is achieved.

3) You wrote: “Add in more about how constitutional provisions are not good enough. They need to be mixed with on-the-ground leadership.”  I have taken note of this observation and I have risked developing the point with about 80 additional lines within the Concluding Remarks.

4) You wrote: “Add in a very short comparative case study. I am thinking 2-3 paragraphs total that look at two Latin American countries that have similar constitutional provisions but different operational procedures and/or governmental structures.”  In response to this excellent recommendation, I have inserted 40 lines before Table III.

Kind Regards

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

The paper remains a description of different factors in different constitutions in Latin America.  As such, it is a nice catalogue.  I still think there's three issues -

1 - corporate social responsibility and sustainability/social/economic/cultural rights are not the same thing; there seems to be conceptual slippage at times in the paper between CSR and ESC rights in the paper.  

2 - is there a causal argument as to why ESC rights have appeared in constitutions?  

3 - seems that the authors believe that writing ESC rights into constitutions mean that they are effective, or that in some sense they are guaranteed.  Is this right?  

Author Response

Reviewer 2 (round 2):

You wrote: “The paper remains a description of different factors in different constitutions in Latin America.  As such, it is a nice catalogue.  I still think there's three issues” -

1 – “Corporate social responsibility and sustainability/social/economic/cultural rights are not the same thing; there seems to be conceptual slippage at times in the paper between CSR and ESC rights in the paper.” 

I have tried to clarify these precepts. As the main author of the paper, I have published 45 articles about these concepts (I would also like to send you some, but cannot as the review is anonymous), but you are absolutely right.  In certain passages, some confusion may have crept in and attempts have been made to improve the explanation.

-CSR: voluntary improvement of the law without any type of enforceability or obligation.

-Social commitment:  often by governments, local authorities and all kinds of organizations. Companies can have social commitment without CSR processes although this is not common.

-Sustainability: mainly environmental, but there are other types of sustainability such as social, economic (based on principles of social economy), cultural, etc. They rarely occur in isolation, that is, an enlightened society tends to be fairer, more ethical, and more supportive of the environment and therefore interacts with sustainability processes.

2 – You wrote: “is there a causal argument as to why ESC rights have appeared in constitutions?” 

I have added 20 lines in response to this. The appearance is not accidental; in addition, the guarantee and deployment of these rights in terms of protection is weak. There are connections between advances in society and the social economy with environmental ones and they have been introduced simultaneously in the new constitutions, coinciding with more progressive governments (although less progressive governments such as in Chile have carried out a greater and more effective regulatory development).

3 – You wrote “It seems that the authors believe that writing ESC rights into constitutions mean that they are effective, or that in some sense they are guaranteed.  Is this right?”

Sometimes they are neither effective (in the majority) nor are they really guaranteed. They are ideas expressed as part of a program and are, therefore, developed by obligation.

I have made a number of additions in response to your comments.  Similarly, I have accepted another reviewer’s challenge by adding almost 100 lines, both in the conclusions and before Table III.  These changes were not strictly essential, since he told me that the paper was already accepted, but I do not want mere acceptance: I wish learn from these recommendations to produce better work. Your opinion matters to me and I have worked on each and every one of your suggestions.

Thank you for your dedication and work.


Kind Regards

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

I think the authors for their thorough and thoughtful revision and for paying detailed and conscientious attention to the points that I made. I think the piece is now publishable.

Author Response

Dear researcher and colleague:


Despite the document being accepted, one of the three reviewers asked me to take a risk to improve it, and I did.


At my age, I seek to learn and work with researchers and reviewers who are more knowledgeable than I am.

Thank you very much for your time.

Best regards.

Round 3

Reviewer 1 Report

The addition of an extensive list of hypotheses and a Bolivia-Peru comparison entirely meets my 1 request for the second round of revise and resubmit. This paper is ready for publication.

 

I commend the author. S/he took criticism in stride, made changes where s/he felt appropriate and stuck to his/her instincts in other places. I genuinely believe this version of the paper is better, will have more impact, and lays out some paths that future researchers could pick up on.

 

As it stands now, I think it is a relevant article worthy of publication in Sustainability.

This manuscript is a resubmission of an earlier submission. The following is a list of the peer review reports and author responses from that submission.


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