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The muddled governance of state-imposed forced labour: multinational corporations, states, and cotton from China and Uzbekistan

Schaefer, Sonja and Hauge, Jostein (2023) The muddled governance of state-imposed forced labour: multinational corporations, states, and cotton from China and Uzbekistan. New Political Economy, 28 (5). 799 - 817. ISSN 1356-3467

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13563467.2023.2184470

Abstract

Forced labour persists in our global economy despite dedicated attention and eradication efforts from both the public and private sectors. Given the bounded reach and lack of enforcement by states and international organisations, the private sector has been the linchpin for eradication of forced labour globally. Utilising the brand-to-state boomerang model, this paper examines state-imposed forced labour in cotton production in China and Uzbekistan, and grapples with how interests–those of the states and the multinational corporations involved in forced labour–shape private governance outcomes. By investigating state-imposed forced labour in China (specifically, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) and Uzbekistan, we find that multinational corporations are reluctant to work towards eradicating forced labour when their net sales and profit are threatened by doing so. Building on the stream of international political economy research regarding how interests complicate governance effectiveness, we expose a gap in the literature on the impact of state-imposed forced labour on governance outcomes and illuminate global ramifications.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/cnpe20
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 11:39
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 16:24
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/118676

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