Research

The Global Reporting Centre works closely with academic researchers to broaden our understanding of complex issues.

The hidden costs of global supply chain solutions

In this introduction to the Review of International Political Economy special issue on the hidden costs of global supply chains, they analyse key trends in the effectiveness of private governance solutions, drawing on our literature review of 290 academic journal articles and contributions within this collection. They argue that not only are global supply chain solutions falling short when it comes to many of the indicators that matter most, but they come with hidden costs – including unintended consequences, perverse effects, and unacknowledged impacts.

Cleaning mineral supply chains? Political economies of exploitation and hidden costs of technical fixes

This article examines hidden costs of three prominent mineral supply chain ‘solutions’ that respectively aim to create ‘conflict-free’ minerals, curtail corruption, and reduce mercury pollution. This article underscores the heterogeneous ways in which global capitalism shapes regulatory injustices spanning multiple scales, illustrating how ‘clean’ mineral supply chain schemes can hide inequitable territorial and economic regimes of accumulation and labour exploitation resulting in social harms for artisanal and small-scale mining communities, negative environmental impacts, and the reproduction of extractive political economies dominated by large corporations.

Is artificial intelligence greening global supply chains? Exposing the political economy of environmental costs

Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to greatly enhance the productivity and efficiency of global supply chains over the next decade. Transnational corporations are hailing these gains as a ‘game changer’ for advancing environmental sustainability. Yet, looking through a political economy lens, it is clear that AI is not advancing sustainability nearly as much as industry leaders are claiming. As this article argues, the metrics and rhetoric of corporate social responsibility are exaggerating the benefits and obscuring the costs of AI.

The hidden costs of environmental upgrading in global value chains

This paper argues that value chain-oriented forms of sustainability governance are not addressing the environmental problems they are putatively designed to solve. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Review of International Political Economy on 14/09/2020, available here.

Regulating sustainable minerals in electronics supply chains

Local power struggles and the ‘hidden costs’ of global tin supply chain governance. This is a pre-print version of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Review of International Political Economy on 04/09/2020, available here.

Empowerment Journalism

Briefly visiting communities as an outsider, overlooking local and cultural nuances, and prioritizing “audiences back home” can make the “parachute reporting” model of journalism problematic. Instead, we developed an approach called “empowerment journalism. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journalism Studies on 31/07/2019, available here.