On April 24 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Savar, Bangladesh collapsed under its own weight. About 1130 people were killed in the incident. Since, Rana Plaza has become the epitome of the problems ... read more
On April 24 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Savar, Bangladesh collapsed under its own weight. About 1130 people were killed in the incident. Since, Rana Plaza has become the epitome of the problems of globalized ready-made garments production, an industry, which had acquired a reputation for hazardous working conditions, child labor, excessive working hours, and inadequate wages well before. To some extent, Rana Plaza has also reignited a larger debate on globalization and how it affects employment and working conditions. Much of this debate is polarized into two camps. On one side, globalizers highlight positive effects, i.e. welfare gains for developed countries and the transformative potential of foreign direct investment for developing countries. On the other, globalization critics fear for a race to the bottom in environmental, labor, and social standards.
This BA-Hauptseminar seeks to develop a more nuanced understanding of the sets of actors and political problems in this area of tension. How can we break down the term globalization? How do transnational corporations operate? How do they relate to their suppliers? What kind of cross-border standards regulate production and which are effective? In order to do answer such questions, we will look at a selection of concepts and advanced theoretical frameworks that are currently used in empirical research. You will need no prior knowledge of labor policy. Yet, a working knowledge of the basic theories of International Political Economy or International Relations is recommended. Please consider that this seminar will be held in English.