Global Value Chains – Economic and Social Upgrading (Hans Böckler Foundation)

Project managers: Prof. Dr. Christina Teipen and Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Herr.
Research assistants: Dr. Petra Dünhaupt and Fabian Mehl

Funding: Hans Böckler Foundation

Workshop Program - June 14th, 2022


The project investigates the effects of the restructuring of global value chains on income distribution, working conditions and trajectories of economic and social upgrading in the global North and South. It connects inter-disciplinary theory building with sectoral and national case studies, bringing together macro-economic perspectives with sociological and political economy approaches. The aim is to develop a better understanding of industry- and country-specific factors that determine economic and social upgrading in global value chains, and to assess the scope of action of governments, trade unions and civil society.

In the first phase of the project, the global value chain configurations and the prospects for economic and social upgrading in five industries (apparel, automobiles, electronics, IT services and agro-food) will be analyzed from the perspective of six emerging and developing economies (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Vietnam, South Africa). The second phase will focus on the assessment of transnational union strategies and on developing policy recommendations in the fields of labour regulation, taxation and industrial policy.

Several colleagues from the HWR Berlin as well as international researchers from the Global Labour University (GLU) network, the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) and from other national research institutions and universities will contribute to the project.

The project is funded by the Hans Böckler Stiftung.