The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relevance and contradictions of development aid in crafting governance responses for enabling long term social upgrading in global garment value chains. Since governance responses are multilevel, we propose to analyse the interrelation between the global and the local level through the case study of a private regulatory initiative of a new type: the Accord on Fire and Building Security in Bangladesh, operationally run like a development aid programme. We aim at explaining the reasons why it has been banned from operating in the country.
We use the framework of the Global Value Chain (GVC) approach since it is operationally used in development aid and has broadened its focus to investigating the link between economic and social upgrading. It further helps to understand multilevel and multiactor governance responses. Using multiple secondary sources we describe the context in which the Accord emerged, explore its provisions and operations, and analyse the contestation pertaining to its termination. We analyse the Accord both as a global governance tool and a field-level development aid actor that addresses social issues in GVCs.
As an ILO led operational programme, the Accord, since its inception, has proven globally effective at improving workplace safety for many workers. However it has been resented for being hegemonic and, as a governance tool, it has neither succeeded in addressing the flaws of private regulatory initiatives nor changed existing power relationships in GVCs.
The early termination of the Accord has not yet been analysed. In light of this, we propose new insights on the rising role of development aid in private governance responses.
Beierlein, L. (2020), "Development aid and the governance of global value chains the case of the Bangladesh accord on fire and building safety", Society and Business Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-10-2018-0126Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited