Governing Global Supply Chains: What We Know (and Don't) About Improving Labor Rights and Working Conditions

Posted: 11 Nov 2015

See all articles by Daniel Berliner

Daniel Berliner

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Global Studies

Anne Regan Greenleaf

University of Washington - Department of Political Science

Milli Lake

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Margaret Levi

Stanford University - Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

Jennifer Noveck

University of Washington - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 2015

Abstract

Research over the past decade has made considerable progress toward achieving a holistic understanding of the myriad actors, interests, and relationships shaping labor rights in global supply chains, but numerous obstacles remain to building a more cumulative research program. In this essay we outline two major challenges and several fruitful directions forward. First, we review the different outcomes of interest in research on labor rights and highlight several tensions that lead to difficulty comparing findings across studies, inappropriate data choices, and unexamined causal assumptions. Second, we highlight a failure to adequately integrate the findings of research in two different subliteratures, one focusing on the incentives of states and firms to adopt reforms, and a second focusing on the implementation of those reforms with monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. We conclude by highlighting the important questions raised by a clearer integration of these two literatures and identifying several recent studies that begin to answer them.

Suggested Citation

Berliner, Daniel and Greenleaf, Anne Regan and Lake, Milli and Levi, Margaret and Noveck, Jennifer, Governing Global Supply Chains: What We Know (and Don't) About Improving Labor Rights and Working Conditions (November 2015). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 11, pp. 193-209, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2688980 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-120814-121322

Daniel Berliner (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Global Studies ( email )

Tempe, AZ
United States

Anne Regan Greenleaf

University of Washington - Department of Political Science ( email )

101 Gowen Hall
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Milli Lake

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Margaret Levi

Stanford University - Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences ( email )

75 Alta Rd
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.casbs.org

Jennifer Noveck

University of Washington - Department of Political Science ( email )

101 Gowen Hall
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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