Beyond the Boycott
Labor Rights, Human Rights, and Transnational Activism
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
TItle Page, Copyright Page
About the Author
Like most comparative projects, this one took me to places to which I could not have traveled on my own. Without the generous help of Padma Priyadarshini and her family, I could not have conducted research in India. Padma’s analytic and practical skills allowed me to negotiate a reality I could never...
1. Citizens, Markets, and Transnational Labor Activism
The press release called it the dawn of a new era: after years of difficult negotiations, multinational corporations, labor activists, and human rights groups had agreed “to work together as equal partners to make significant improvements in labor conditions in garment factories” around the...
2. Labor Rights as Human Rights: Regulation in the Context of "Thinned" National State
What does it mean to redefine labor rights as human rights? Transnational campaigns often try to mobilize global support by invoking universal standards rather than locally enforced labor law. But in the process, labor activists often abandon older labor strategies, which tended to...
3. Monitoring Multinationals: Lessons from the Anti-Apartheid Era
One of the most frequently cited examples of transnational corporate monitoring involves labor standards only tangentially: the nearly twenty-year effort to improve the “corporate citizenship” of American companies in South Africa...
4. Social Labels, Child Labor, and Monitoring in the Indian Carpet Industry
The conditions in which India’s child carpet weavers work are heartrending: emaciated young boys sit before massive looms in dark, dusty weaving sheds, their legs dangling off wooden planks into pits dug into dirt floors, working as...
5. Constructing a Culture of Compliance in Guatemala
The word “sweatshop” has long evoked the garment industry: poor young women bent over sewing machines in dimly lit, badly ventilated rooms, working long hours for pitiful wages. Sadly, that image is not outdated. Exposés from Los...
6. Citizenship at Work
This study began with some rather straightforward questions. What are the characteristics of successful consumer-based campaigns? How have transnational activists managed to persuade corporations to accede to the independent monitoring of workplace codes of conduct, and what has been...