H01
Value chains and production networks: reducing or reproducing inequalities? (Paper)

Convenors:
Judith Krauss (University of Sheffield)
Bimal Arora (Aston Business School)
Stephanie Barrientos (Global Development Institute, University of Manchester)
Stream:
H: Political Economy of trade, labour and inclusive business
Location:
E6
Start time:
28 June, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

As global, regional and local value chains and production networks rise in importance in international trade, there is a need to analyse to what degree they reduce or reproduce inequalities in social, economic and environmental terms across stakeholders and space.

Long abstract:

Diverse facets of inequality in social, economic and environmental terms are found in global, regional and local value chains and production networks, influencing geographies of trade, power relations and rights and access to resources. As global, regional and local value chains and production networks expand especially between and within Africa, Asia and Latin America, these issues are increasingly important for sustainable development. Currently, there is an intensifying debate on how diverse inequalities, e.g. within and across geographies, gender, class, region or status, are manifest in the ways we work, live, produce and consume. These complex dynamics affect questions of agency and power, rights and access to resources, choice and capabilities at all scales. At the same time, as trade increasingly occurs through fragmented production and consumption relations, buyers across all scales are asking whether value chains and production networks are working to reduce or reproduce unequal relations in social, economic and environmental terms. The panel welcomes papers on issues including, but not limited to: - Links between efforts for greater sustainability and diverse inequalities in value chains and production networks - The nexus of economic, social and environmental upgrading in value chains and production networks and its relevance in terms of reducing and reproducing inequalities - Ways and means to identify, measure and address inequalities across diverse stakeholders and scales throughout global, regional and local value chains and production networks - The relevance of inequality debates to issues around labour, human and environmental rights in global, regional and local production contexts