Rules without Rights: Land, Labor, and Private Authority in the Global Economy

ISBN : 9780198794332

Tim Bartley
384 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
Transformations In Governance
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This book is about what it really means when companies claim to be promoting sustainability and fairness in their global operations. While some of these claims are empty, many are backed by detailed voluntary standards, on-the-ground auditing, and certification of compliance, such as to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, which has an eco-label for paper, lumber, and furniture. The book compares the implementation of standards focused on sustainable timber operations with those focused on labor conditions in the global apparel and footwear industry, where exploitative and dangerous sweatshops have been common. Through a series of informative case studies, the book looks closely at how these standards have been implemented in Indonesia and China-countries that are crucial for apparel/footwear and timber manufacturing but that differ in their domestic political structures, at least since Indonesia democratized in the late 1990s. Based on interviews with workers, activists, co


1 Transnational Standards and Empty Spaces; 2 A Substantive Theory of Transnational Governance; 3 Purity and Danger: The Dilemmas of Sustainable Timber in Indonesia; 4 The State Strikes Back: Forest Certification in Authoritarian China; 5 Beneath Compliance: Corporate Social Responsibility and Labor Standards in China; 6 Contentious Codes: The Contested Implications of Labor Standards in Indonesia; 7 Re-Centering the State: Toward Place-Conscious Transnational Governance?

About the author: 

Tim Bartley is Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, and studies globalization, regulation, and social movements. He has published articles in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, and a number of other journals. His 2015 book, Looking behind the Label: Global Industries and the Conscientious Consumer, examined the meaning of 'voting with your dollars' and the impacts of voluntary standards for sustainable and/or fair production of food, forest products, apparel, and electronics.

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