Rising Powers, Labour Standards and the Governance of Global Production Networks
Discipline: Area and Development Studies
Funded Period: 01 April 2013 – 31 March 2016
Rising powers: Brazil, China, India
The global economy is being transformed by the ‘Rising Powers’ – especially China, India and Brazil. One aspect of this transformation is how these economies are engaging with and potentially shaping, the rules that govern international trade and global production, in particular global labour and social standards. For the developing world, meeting international standards is increasingly critical. We are now more aware about the food we eat and how it came to our plates, or whether what we wear implied sweatshop labour. Yet, gains from compliance – especially for workers and poor producers – remain unclear. Expanding trade between the RP economies, their growing domestic consumer markets and the emergence of leading firms from China, India and Brazil raise questions on how global standards will be shaped in the future, who the key drivers will be, and what implications arise for workers in both these emerging economies and throughout the global economy.
This 3 year project, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, involves comparative study in Brazil, China and India of leading RP firms and small firm clusters as well as State and civil society organisations. The research will draw on mixed on mixed methods approaches, including quantitative and qualitative data, to address the following questions:
- First, how do rising power firms work with, challenge and modify global labour and social standards which their global value chains?
- Second, how do civil society actors shape attitudes, norms and values on social standards?
- Third, how does the State in Brazil, China and India regulate on labour and engage in the international institutions where trade rules on labour and social standards are defined?
- Fourth, what are the consequences of these developments for:
- Competitiveness of RP lead firms and the organisation of global ties?
- For firms and states in OECD and developing economies?
- For future trajectories of global and social standards?
- For national and global policy actors
This project is based at the University of Manchester, UK but with close collaboration with colleagues in Brazil, China and India. It brings together a team of leading international experts working on the interface between global and local production and on the rules of trade.
Dr Khalid Nadvi (email@example.com) leads the project and is well known for his work on global value chains, local clusters and the impacts of global standards. Khalid is a Professor of International Development at the Global Development Institute (GDI), University of Manchester, UK.
Other members of the core team
Professor Rudolf Sinkovics, Professor of International Business at Manchester Business School in the University of Manchester, UK. Rudolf’s research interests focus on governance issues related to overcoming environmental and commercial risks; information and communication technologies and international business; and methodological issues in business.
Professor Peter Knorringa, Professor of Private Sector Development at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. Peter’s research interests focus on enterprise development, clustering, value chain analysis, networks and social capital in development, ethical trade, and poverty alleviation.
Mr Mansueto Almeida – Department of Industry and Innovation Studies at Instituto de Pesquisa Economica Aplicada (IPEA) in Brasilia. Mansueto’s research interests focus on local clusters, environmental standards and industrial policy formation in Brazil.
Dr Chris Chan – Assistant Professor, City University, Hong Kong. Chris’ research interests focus on labour studies including analysis of work and employment, policy, CSR, global production chains and civil society.
Professor Keshab Das- Acting Director, Gujarat Institute of Development Research, India. Keshab’s work focuses on regional development, industrialisation, small firm development, industrial clusters, informal sector, labour and basic infrastructure in both rural and urban areas.
- Policy brief: Global labour standards: understanding how India, Brazil and China incorporate, challenge and shape standards in global production networks
- Media uptake: Project findings mentioned in Ideas for India blog by Kuntala Bandyopadhyay, ICRIER, Could emerging economies change the rules of the global labour standards game?, 24 August 2016
- Rising Powers, Labour Standards and the Governance of Global Production, Khalid Nadvi’s presentation at Watson Institute, Brown University, 30 September 2015
- Nadvi, K. and Raj-Reichert, G. (2015) ‘Governing health and safety at lower tiers of the computer industry global value chain‘, Regulation & Governance, DOI: 10.1111/rego.12079
- Knorrigna, P. and Nadvi, K. (2014) ‘Rising Power Clusters and the Challenges of Local and Global Standards‘, Journal of Business Ethics, September 2014, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2374-6
Workshop on Labour Standards and Labour Law Reforms in the Rising Powers: Trends and Prospects in Public and Private Regulations, University of Cambridge, 5-6 September 2016
In a recent workshop held in Cambridge in September 2016 researchers from the Centre for Business Research (CBR), University of Cambridge, and from the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, discussed the findings from ESRC-funded research. The workshop focused on labour law reforms, labour standards and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in Rising Powers, including China, India, South Africa and Brazil.
- Podcast interviews by CBR on the findings presented at the workshop
- Evening Standard article mentioning the workshop outcomes, 8 November 2016
Special Issue: Labour Regulations and Labour Standards in China, International Labour Review, Volume 153, Issue 4
- Chan, C. K. and K.Nadvi (2014), ‘Changing labour regulations and labour standards in China: Retrospect and challenges‘, International Labour Review, Vol. 153, No. 4, 513-534. DOI: 10.1111/j.1564-913X.2014.00214.x (open access)
- Labour relations, production regimes and labour conflicts in the Chinese automotive industry, Boy Lüthje, pp. 535-560
- Labour inspection in contemporary China: Like the Anglo-Saxon model, but different, Wenjia Zhuang and Kinglun Ngok, pp. 561-585
- The politics of labour legislation in southern China: How foreign chambers of commerce and government agencies influence collective bargaining laws, Elaine Sio-ieng Hui and Chris King-Chi Chan, pp. 587-607
- Collective consultation under quota management: China’s government-led model of labour relations regulation, Qingjun Wu and Zhaoyang Sun, pp. 609-633
- Injured workers in China: Injustice, conflict and social unrest, Ying Zhu, Peter Y. Chen and Wei Zhao, pp. 635-647
- China’s “labour shortage” and migrant workers’ lack of social security (pages 649–658), Zhikai Wang, pp. 649-658
Special Section: Rising Powers from Emerging Markets – The Changing Face of International Business, International Business Review, Volume 23, Issue 4
- Rising powers from emerging markets—The changing face of international business, Rudolf R. Sinkovics, Mo Yamin, Khalid Nadvi, Yingying Zhang Zhang, pp. 675-679
- Emerging versus advanced country MNEs investing in Europe: A typology of subsidiary global–local connections, Elisa Giuliani, Sara Gorgoni, Christina Günther, Roberta Rabellotti, pp. 680-691
- The role of social value creation in business model formulation at the bottom of the pyramid – Implications for MNEs?, Noemi Sinkovics, Rudolf R. Sinkovics, Mo Yamin, pp. 692-707
- Asian firms and the restructuring of global value chains, Shamel Azmeh, Khalid Nadvi, pp. 708-717
- Learning process and capability formation in cross-border buyer–supplier relationships: A qualitative case study of Taiwanese technological firms, Chia-Ling (Eunice) Liu, Yingying Zhang, pp. 718-730
- Benefitting from Chinese FDI? An assessment of vertical linkages with Vietnamese manufacturing firms, Julia Kubny, Hinrich Voss, pp. 731-740
- What makes export manufacturers pursue functional upgrading in an emerging market? A study of Chinese technology new ventures, Ruey Jer “Bryan” Jean, pp. 741-749
- Outward foreign direct investment of publicly listed firms from China: A corporate governance perspective, Helen Wei Hu, Lin Cui, pp. 750-760
Special Issue: “Rising Powers” and Labour and Environmental Standards: Challenges to the Global Governance of Consumption, Production and Trade, Oxford Development Studies, Volume 42, Issue 2, 2014
- “Rising Powers” and Labour and Environmental Standards, Khalid Nadvi, pp. 137-150
- New Middle-Class Consumers in Rising Powers: Responsible Consumption and Private Standards, Alejandro Guarín & Peter Knorringa, pp. 151-171
- Low-Carbon Standards and Labels in China, Clara Brandi, pp. 172-189
- Flying Under the Radar? The State and the Enforcement of Labour Laws in Brazil, Salo V. Coslovsky, pp. 190-216
- Rising Powers, Rising Networks: Brazilian Actors in Private Governance, Alejandro Milcíades Peña, pp. 217-237
- Indian Garment Clusters and CSR Norms: Incompatible Agendas at the Bottom of the Garment Commodity Chain, Alessandra Mezzadri, pp. 238-258
- The Rise of Tier 1 Firms in the Global Garment Industry: Challenges for Labour Rights Advocates, Jeroen Merk, pp. 259-277
- Global Inequality, Rising Powers, and Labour Standards, Dev Nathan & Sandip Sarkar, pp. 278-295
- “New” middle class consumers in Rising Powers: responsible consumption and labour standards; Alejandro Guarin and Peter Knorringa
- Chinese and American oil companies and their environmental practices in Chad: A quiet confluence of streams or silence before the battle?; Geert Van Vliet, Géraud Magrin, Weiyong Yang, Gilbert Maoundonodji, Romain Dittgen, Yiran Lin, Fan Wang, Guohuang Liang, Antoine Doudjidingao & Marie-Adeline Tavares
- Russian retailers as drivers of global value chains: Examining the conventions of Russian retailers from a central Asian perspective; Lotte Thomsen
- Economic, social and environmental upgrading in value chains: Social entrepreneurship and the role of emerging economy lead firms; Marco Bettiol, Valentina De Marchi, Eleonora Di Maria & Stefano Micelli
- Low carbon standards and labels in Rising Powers; Clara Brandi
- Tier 1 firms in the global garment industry: new challenges for labour rights advocates; Jeroen Merk
Principal investigator Dr Khalid Nadvi discusses the project 'Rising Powers, Labour Standards and the Governance of Global Production Networks'.