Parallel Paths to Enforcement: Private Compliance, Public Regulation, and Labor Standards in the Brazilian Sugar Sector

48 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2013

See all articles by Richard Locke

Richard Locke

Brown University

Salo V. Coslovsky

New York University (NYU)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 19, 2013

Abstract

In recent years, global corporations and national governments have been enacting a growing number of codes of conduct and public regulations to combat dangerous and degrading work conditions in global supply chains. At the receiving end of this activity, local producers must contend with multiple regulatory regimes, but it is unclear how these regimes interact and what results, if any, they produce. This paper examines this dynamic in the sugar sector in Brazil. It finds that although private and public agents rarely communicate, let alone coordinate with one another they nevertheless reinforce each others' actions. Public regulators use their legal powers to outlaw extreme forms of outsourcing. Private auditors use the trust they command as company insiders to instigate a process of workplace transformation that facilitates compliance. Together, their parallel actions block the low road and guide targeted firms to a higher road in which improved labor standards are not only possible but even desirable.

Keywords: Brazil, sugar sector, public regulation, private compliance, labor standards, private auditors, labor inspectors, global supply chains

Suggested Citation

Locke, Richard and Coslovsky, Salo V., Parallel Paths to Enforcement: Private Compliance, Public Regulation, and Labor Standards in the Brazilian Sugar Sector (August 19, 2013). Watson Institute for International Studies Research Paper No. 2013-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2312645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2312645

Richard Locke

Brown University ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
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(401) 863-3596 (Phone)

Salo V. Coslovsky (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

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