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GLOBE Webinar: James Harrison and Adrian Smith - Free Trade Agreements and Global Labour Governance

The European Union’s Trade-Labour Linkage in a Value Chain World

12 November 2020 - 15:00 - 16:00 CET

James Harrison and Adrian Smith join us to discuss "Free Trade Agreements and Global Labour Governance: The European Union’s Trade-Labour Linkage in a Value Chain World" (Routledge 2020; co-authored with Liam Campling, Ben Richardson, Mirela Barbu). Samantha Velluti (Sussex Law School) will offer some reflections and kick off the question and answer session with the audience.

About the book: Exploring the contentious relationship between trade and labour, this book looks at the impact of the EU’s ‘new generation’ free trade agreements on workers. Drawing upon extensive original research, including over 200 interviews with key actors across the EU and its trading partners, it considers the effectiveness of the trade-labour linkage in an era of global value chains. The EU believes trade can work for all, claiming that labour provisions in its FTAs ensure that economic growth and high labour standards go hand-in-hand. Yet whether these actually make a difference to workers is strongly contested. This book explains why labour provisions have been profoundly limited in the EU’s agreements with the CARIFORUM group, South Korea and Moldova. It also shows how the provisions were mismatched with the most pressing workplace concerns in the key export industries of sugar, automobiles and clothing, and how these concerns were exacerbated by the agreements’ commercial provisions. This approach to studying the trade-labour linkage provides insights into key debates on the role of civil society in trade governance, the relationship between public and private labour regulation, and the progressive possibilities for trade policy in the 21st century.

About the speakers: Adrian Smith is Deputy Vice-Principal (Research Excellence), Dean for Research in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Human Geography at the Queen Mary University of London. James Harrison is a Professor in the School of Law at the University of Warwick. He is Co-Director of the Centre for Human Rights in Practice.

Discussant: Samantha Velluti (Sussex Law School, University of Sussex)
Moderator: Kari Otteburn (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven) 

Participation is free and the webinar can be joined from anywhere in the


Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, the Project “Global Governance and the European Union: Future Trends and Scenarios” (GLOBE) addresses the strategic priorities identified in the EU Global Strategy such as – trade, development, security and climate change – as well as migration and global finance, in order to identify the major roadblocks to effective and coherent global governance by multiple stakeholders in a multipolar world. GLOBE seeks to provide policy makers, academics and the general public with an analytical grip on the state of play in global governance, by developing new theoretical and methodological approaches. It also hopes to equip national and European policy makers with tools to identify constraints and opportunities in a set of global governance scenarios for 2030 and />


12 Nov 2020 @ 03:00 pm

12 Nov 2020 @ 04:00 pm

Duration: 1 hours


Organised by

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven

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