Editorial – Business and human rights in global value chains

Karin Buhmann, Mark B. Taylor*, Elisa Giuliani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


Ideas about the social responsibility of business are in flux. The foundations of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ have been transformed in recent years by normative developments in the field of business and human rights. The latter norms are a direct response to the evolution of transnational modes of production, such as global value chains coordinated by multinational corporations. This special issue explores these attempts to advance respect for human rights in the context of business activity in global value chains. The special issue consists of an introduction and four articles which describe and interrogate some of the principle changes currently taking place in global value chain governance as these relate to human rights: the impact on worker power of the rise of larger emerging-market multinationals in value chains traditionally dominated by global brands; the limits of monitoring and transparency mechanisms as effective regulators of human rights in supply chains; the role of contracts in ensuring respect for human rights; and the possibility to use the courts to enforce respect for rights across fragmented production networks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCompetition and Change
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)337-345
Publication statusPublished - 1. Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Global value chains
  • human rights
  • labour rights
  • monitoring
  • supply chains
  • transparency


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