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Building capacity, building rights? State capacity and labor rights in developing countries

Berliner, Daniel, Greenleaf, Anne Regan, Lake, Milli and Noveck, Jennifer (2015) Building capacity, building rights? State capacity and labor rights in developing countries. World Development, 72. pp. 127-139. ISSN 0305-750X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.02.018


Building state capacity has often been hailed as a cure-all for the ailments of the developing world and has been linked to human rights improvements, economic development, and the enforcement of property rights. Low state capacity, on the other hand, has been viewed as one of the primary impediments to improvements of labor rights and other social justice issues. We examine the relationship between state capacity and the protection of labor rights in panels of 85 developing countries, and 34 “supply-chain-relevant” countries. We find that changes in state capacity are only associated with changes in labor rights in countries where workers’ interests are better represented in the political system – measured alternately as left party power, democracy, union density, and potential labor power. Our findings highlight the importance of combinations of state capacity and political will in leading to improved rights of workers in global supply chains.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2017 14:54
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:59

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