Global value chains and production networks constitute the backbone of global trade and are subject to attention by both policymakers and political contestation. This 2 session panel explores the economic, social and environmental challenges of GPNs and their developmental policy ramifications.
Research on global production networks (GPNs) and global value chains (GVCs) has made major progress in going beyond nation state-centric accounts of trade to look at the roles played by specific actors, the governance relationships involved and implications for upgrading producers' development prospects. Initially focused on economic development outcomes, more recently research on GPNs and GVCs has also explored the social and environmental implications. GVCs are now acknowledged by key international organisations as forming the backbone of the global economy. Recently, key reports by UNCTAD, the WTO, World Bank and African Development Bank have been centrally focused on GVCs and their potential to drive developmental outcomes. Whilst the increasing uptake of these frameworks can be exciting, concern has been expressed about selective application and interpretation by major policy organisations. The purpose of the 2 proposed sessions is to provide critical reflections on the policies and politics of GPNs and GVCs, to reflect on attempts at understanding better, and engaging more effectively in, promoting positive local outcomes from global production. We invite papers which could address, but are not limited to: • Uptake and application of GVC/GPN frameworks by development policymakers • Political contestation within and over GVCs/GPNs • New private and public governance dynamics in global production networks, including the rise of new lead firms and impacts of industrial policy • Ethical challenges within global value chains and production networks and related policies and politics of intervention • Economic, social and environmental upgrading within global production networks the dynamics between each and related policy implications