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Labor Standards in International Supply Chains: Aligning Rights and Incentives

Daniel Berliner
Anne Greenleaf
Milli Lake
Jennifer Noveck
Edward Elgar
2015

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.