Global Value Chains (GVCs) are not only the sites of global production and value extraction but, increasingly so, of political and geopolitical contestation. The ‘Power and Justice in GVCs’ Virtual Roundtable will follow three recent books in the authors’ efforts to conceptualise and unpack power relations in GVCs.
Can GVCs be conceptualised as political institutions that govern the workers and consumers subjected to them? Does the decentralization of GVCs also entail the decentralization of power among the major actors within these chains? What does the emergence of global suppliers mean for the monopsony power of lead firms and for workers’ bargaining power? How does law enable and facilitate a regime of ‘unequal exchange’ and value extraction? Can social justice be scaled up and penetrate GVCs, or should institutional imaginaries fold back to “reshoring production” and strengthening political sovereignty?
The authors Ashok Kumar, Benjamin McKean, and Intan Suwandi will reflect on these questions in a roundtable format. The Virtual Roundtable is organised and moderated by Ioannis Kampourakis, as part of the Public and Private Interests research initiative at Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Ashok Kumar (Birbeck, University of London)
Monopsony Capitalism: power and production in the twilight of the sweatshop age (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
Benjamin McKean (Ohio State University)
Disorienting Neoliberalism: Global Justice and the Outer Limit of Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Intan Suwandi (Illinois State University)
Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism (Monthly Review Press, 2019)