Regulating Labor and Environment: Beyond the Public-Private Divide, organizers: Tim Bartley (Sociology, Indiana), Nicole Helmerich (Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies), Olga Malets (Forest and Environmental Policy, Technische Universität in Munich), Chikako Oka (School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London)
The goal of this mini-conference is to examine the dynamics and impact of labor and environmental regulation in the age of globalization. Whereas globalization in some ways challenges the enforcement of national labor and environmental standards, it has also opened up or inspired new channels for policy-makers, regulators, activists, consumers, workers, and managers to influence the behavior of firms around the world. These include both private regulation (e.g., certification systems, codes of conduct, etc.) and new or reinvigorated forms of state regulation. This mini-conference will explore the multiple linkages between global shifts in environmental and labor regulation and their local effects. We invite papers that bring new empirical evidence and/or theoretical clarity to questions such as: what are the implications of global shifts and transnational standards for the implementation of domestic regulatory projects? How is the implementation of transnational labor and environmental standards shaped by pre-existing (or reforming) domestic configurations of rights and regulation? Under what conditions are transnational standards effectively enforced locally, adapted by local actors (with either positive or negative implications), or circumvented? In what ways are transformations in domestic public regulation spilling over to affect global prescriptions about regulation, standard-setting, or corporate social responsibility? How do particular supply chain structures, production practices, or cultures of production and consumption promote or undermine compliance with public and private regulation? What are the unintended consequences of different regulatory forms and initiatives? More broadly, what should scholars and practitioners of public and private regulation be learning from each other? What can analyses of labor and the environment contribute to one another? We seek to garner enough theoretical, methodological, and regional diversity in the papers to foster exciting new conversations and insights.