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Labour in Global Value Chains in Asia


Part of Development Trajectories in Global Value Chains

Dev Nathan, Meenu Tewari, Sandip Sarkar, Arianna Rossi, Nazneen Ahmed, Anannya Bhattacharjee, Asim Roy, Sukhpal Singh, Yang Fuquan, Yu Yin, Yu Xiaongang, Govind Kelkar, Girish Nanda, Keith Hargreaves, Lixia Mei, Jici Wang, Yuko Hamada, Annelies M. Goger, Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, Joonkoo Lee, Gary Gereffi, Sang-Hoon Lee, Jenny Chan, Ngai Pun, Mark Selden, Sumangala Damodaran, Praveen Jha, Amit Chakraborty, Ernesto Noronha, Premilla D'Cruz, Balwant S. Mehta
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  • Date Published: October 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107103740

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About the Authors
  • This book brings together a set of studies on labour conditions in global value chains (GVCs) in a variety of sectors, ranging from labour-intensive sectors (garments, fresh fruits, tourism), to medium and high technology sectors (automobiles, electronics and telecom) and knowledge-intensive sectors (IT software services). The studies span a number of countries across Asia - Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. This book stands out for its grounded and detailed examination of both what is working and what is not working as Asian labour gets more embedded in global value chains. In trying to identify spaces for progressive action and policies in the current GVC-linked global work environment, the book goes against the grain in searching for an alternative to laissez faire forms of globalisation.

    • This is the launch title of the series Development Trajectories in Global Value Chains
    • Studies instances across sectors (garments, agro-foods, automobiles, tourism, IT services) and countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a conceptually coherent and empirically rich assessment of the complex and shifting position of labour in GVCs in Asia … very effectively uses different GVC governance types as an organising frame, but also gives full weight to the place-specific or 'horizontal' factors that powerfully shape the outcomes and opportunities for labour in GVCs … an exciting contribution which deserves a wide readership across the field of GVC/global production network research and beyond.' Neil Coe, National University of Singapore

    'This important book demonstrates … that GVCs are not delivering a fair share of the economic benefits to workers and that private compliance approaches have failed. It contributes to a better understanding of the underlying causes, which should help governments, companies and others interested in positively influencing working conditions in GVCs to distinguish worker-centered strategies that can lead to genuine change from mere window-dressing.' Jenny Holdcroft, IndustriALL Global Union

    '… a major contribution to knowledge of how GVCs work, the wage and skill patterns that they create, the conditions under which gains for labour can be maximized and the ways in which the actors concerned are responding. It is required reading for anyone who wants to get behind the rhetoric of the global economy to understand the realities on the ground.' Gerry Rodgers, International Institute of Labour Studies, Geneva

    'The link between an increasingly important type of participation in international trade and conditions in the labor market, and thus the process of development in general throws much-needed light on a topical subject of great concern in Asia and elsewhere.' Pranab Bardhan, University of California, Berkeley

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107103740
    • length: 560 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 163 x 40 mm
    • weight: 0.85kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Dev Nathan, Meenu Tewari and Sandip Sarkar
    2. Achieving better work for apparel workers in Asia Arianna Rossi
    3. Improving wages and working conditions in the Bangladesh garment sector: the role of horizontal and vertical relations Nazneen Ahmed and Dev Nathan
    4. Bargaining in garment GVCs: the Asia floor wage Anannya Bhattacharjee and Ashim Roy
    5. Fresh produce markets, standards, and dynamics of labour: grapes in India Sukhpal Singh
    6. The 'zero-fee' tour: price competition and chain downgrading in Chinese tourism Yang Fuquan, Yu Yin and Dev Nathan
    7. Restricting competition to reduce poverty: impact of the tourism value chain in an upland economy in China Yang Fuquan, Yu Xiaongang, Yu Yin, Govind Kelkar and Dev Nathan
    8. Restructuring of post-crisis GVCs: tourism in Bali, Indonesia Girish Nanda and Keith Hargreaves
    9. Dynamics of labour-intensive clusters in China: wage costs and moving inland Lixia Mei and Jici Wang
    10. Migrant labour in global value chains in Asia Yuko Hamada
    11. From disposable to empowered: rearticulating labour in Sri Lankan apparel factories Annelies M. Goger
    12. Scripted performances? Local readings of 'global' health and safety standards in the apparel sector in Sri Lanka Kanchana N. Ruwanpura
    13. Diffusing labour standards down and beyond the value chain: lessons from the Mewat experiment Meenu Tewari
    14. Social upgrading in mobile phone GVCs: firm-level comparisons of working conditions and labour rights Joonkoo Lee, Gary Gereffi and Sang-Hoon Lee
    15. The politics of global production: Apple, Foxconn and China's new working class Jenny Chan, Ngai Pun and Mark Selden
    16. New strategies of industrial organisation and labour in the mobile telecom sector in India Sumangala Damodaran
    17. Global production networks and labour process Praveen Jha and Amit Chakraborty
    18. Still a distance to go: social upgrading in the Indian ITO-BPO-KPO sector Ernesto Noronha and Premilla D'Cruz
    19. What do workers gain from being in a GVC? ICT in India Sandip Sarkar and Balwant S. Mehta
    20. Governance types and employment systems Dev Nathan
    21. The double movement of labour in the reformation of GVCs Dev Nathan, Meenu Tewari and Sandip Sarkar.

  • Editors

    Dev Nathan, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi
    Dev Nathan is Visiting Professor at the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, and Visiting Research Fellow at the Center on Globalisation, Governance and Competitiveness at Duke University, North Carolina. As an economist, his main research interests are global value chains, labour conditions, rural and indigenous peoples' development, and gender issues. Some of his recent publications, co-authored or co-edited, are Aadhaar: Gender, Identity and Development (2015) and Markets and Indigenous Peoples in Asia: Lessons from Development Projects (2012). A frequent contributor to Economic and Political Weekly, he has also published in journals such as Science, Current Sociology and Oxford Development Papers.

    Meenu Tewari, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Meenu Tewari is Associate Professor of Economic and International Development at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the political economy of development, industrialization, and on institutional reform in the public and urban sectors. She is particularly interested in the changing nature of work in rapidly urbanizing low-income economies, and in the challenge of skill formation and upgrading within regional and global production networks. Her work has been published in several journals including World Development, Competition and Change, Environment and Planning, Oxford Development Studies and the Global Economy Journal.

    Sandip Sarkar, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi
    Sandip Sarkar is Professor at the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi. Previously, he has worked in several research institutes including the Institute of Economic Growth and the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development. His main areas of research interest include industry, poverty, labour, and employment, on which he has experienced over two decades. Of late, he has also been working in the areas of information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Global Value Chain (GVC). He has authored a number of titles and he has also contributed a large number of research articles in both national and international reputed journals.


    Dev Nathan, Meenu Tewari, Sandip Sarkar, Arianna Rossi, Nazneen Ahmed, Anannya Bhattacharjee, Asim Roy, Sukhpal Singh, Yang Fuquan, Yu Yin, Yu Xiaongang, Govind Kelkar, Girish Nanda, Keith Hargreaves, Lixia Mei, Jici Wang, Yuko Hamada, Annelies M. Goger, Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, Joonkoo Lee, Gary Gereffi, Sang-Hoon Lee, Jenny Chan, Ngai Pun, Mark Selden, Sumangala Damodaran, Praveen Jha, Amit Chakraborty, Ernesto Noronha, Premilla D'Cruz, Balwant S. Mehta

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