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Labor Standards in International Supply Chains

Aligning Rights and Incentives Daniel Berliner, Arizona State University, Anne Regan Greenleaf, University of Washington, Milli Lake, Arizona State University, Margaret Levi, Stanford University, Jennifer Noveck, University of Washington, US
Labor Standards in International Supply Chains examines developments in working conditions over the past thirty years. The authors analyze the stakeholders and mechanisms that create challenges and opportunities for improving labor rights around the world, in sectors including apparel, footwear and electronics. Extended examples from China, Honduras, Bangladesh and the United States, as well as new quantitative evidence, illustrate the complex dynamics within and among key groups, including brands, suppliers, governments, workers and consumers.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $115.00 Web: $103.50
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 978 1 78347 035 8
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $39.95 Web: $31.96
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78347 036 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Human Rights
  • International Politics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Labour Policy
The authors examine developments in labor standards in global supply chains over the past thirty years, analyzing factors that create challenges and opportunities for improving working conditions. They illustrate the complex dynamics within and among key groups, including brands, suppliers, governments, workers and consumers.

Using extended examples from China, Honduras, Bangladesh and the United States, as well as new quantitative evidence, the authors analyze stakeholders and mechanisms that create or obstruct opportunities for improving labor rights. They evaluate key clusters of actors and their interests in order to comprehensively map the complex interactions and relationships that make up global supply chains. Original data and analyses, including four in-depth case studies, present a systematic evaluation of the points of leverage for changing labor standards in sectors including apparel, footwear, and electronics.

This exciting new contribution to a burgeoning field of study will benefit scholars of labor rights and human rights, as well as students with an interest in labor and working conditions. It also presents critical information for political scientists, NGOs, and practitioners looking to effect change in working conditions and learn more about key players in the global economy.
'This book constitutes a valuable contribution to a growing and increasingly important scholarly field and will prove to be useful for anyone interested in learning more about factors that contribute to the shaping of working conditions in global supply chains, whether they are academics, students, campaigners or practitioners.'
– Journal of Industrial Relations

‘Exhibiting a refreshing disregard for industry-approved narratives about labor rights, in which progress flows from the spigot of an espresso machine at a “corporate social responsibility” seminar, the authors focus with precision on the factors that actually determine labor rights outcomes: the economic interests of global brands, and their suppliers, and how these are mediated by governments’ regulatory choices and by the efforts of workers and allied groups to make brands pay a reputational price for the labor abuses they help create. Readers will better understand why early 20th century working conditions still exist in the 21st – and what might be done about it.’
– Scott Nova, Executive Director, Worker Rights Consortium
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. The Worlds Brands Create 3. Aligning Interests Across Global Supply Chains: An Analytic Framework 4. The International Framework for Labour Standards 5. Labor Standards Around the World: A Quantitative Examination 6. The United States in the Struggle for Labor Standards 7. Apparel Production in Honduras: A Case of Cross-cluster Alignment 8. Apparel Production in Bangladesh: Opportunity Amidst Tragedy? 9. Labor Resistance and Local Government – Supplier Collusion in Post-1986 China 10. Conclusion Index