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1.5 Conclusion

Throughout this unit, a major concern has been to show how the demand of the antisweatshop movement that we not only respond to, but take responsibility for, economic injustices, no matter how distant, is an intensely controversial one. Claims by campaigning groups such as Oxfam and Christian Aid that consumer demand for cheap branded goods perpetuates poverty wage levels in the sweatshop industries are countered by claims from the pro-market lobby which point in an altogether differen
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1.4.4 Summary

  • The question of who is responsible for factory sweatshops in the poorer regions of the globe remains a passionate political issue, in North America and beyond. Views on how responsibility for overseas sweatshops should be exercised differ between those who believe that it should be left to market forces to improve conditions and those who consider that everyone, as a consumer, bears some responsibility for their perpetuation and should intervene to bring abo
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1.3.8 Summary of section

  • During the 1970s and 1980s, countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan benefited from their low-cost advantages in the new global division of labour. Now, however, the gap between rich and poor nations is wider and competition in the world economy greater, prompting campaigning groups to argue that contemporary low-wage economies do not have the options for economic development that their predecessors had.

  • In the face of market fragment
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1.3.4 Bringing remote sweatshops within reach continued

Another claim made by the movement is that we are all in some way connected to a market system which effectively allows sweatshops to exist in the first place. This is about more than targeting the big brand names and linking them directly to exploitation abroad; rather, it is about piecing together the global market machinery that ties the corporate buyer, the boardroom executive, the factory owner and the consumer into a system which establishes particular lines of responsibility (Ha
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1.3.3 Bringing remote sweatshops within reach continued

There are, to my knowledge, at least two ways in which this challenge has been mounted. The first, which I have already touched upon, gathered momentum in the 1990s when, to great effect, different elements within the growing antisweatshop movement sidestepped the tangled arrangements of the market by targeting the most visible icons of global trade, the big retail ‘brands’: Adidas, Nike, Gap, Umbro, Puma, Reebok, Fila, French Connection, Mattel, Disney, and so on. The antiswe
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1.1.1 Introduction

Many of the smaller branded goods on sale to consumers in Europe and North America – the latest in clothing and footwear or the smart toys and electronic gadgets on offer – are made in factory ‘sweatshops’. Found in the backstreets of modern, Western cities, but more often than not a feature of the poorer parts of the world, factory sweatshops are an integral part of today's global economy. Increasingly, as you can see from Author(s): No creator set

Acknowledgements

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The material acknowledged below is contained in: Ordering the International: History, Change and Transformation (eds William B
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References

Beetham, D. (1999) Democracy and Human Rights, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Brown, C. (2001) ‘Human rights’ in Baylis, J. and Smith, S. (eds) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Caney, S.(2001) ‘International distributive justice’ Political Studies, vol. 49, pp. 9
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