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Christoph Scherrer

University of Kassel

Christoph Scherrer is a professor for "Globalization & Politics" at the University of Kassel since 2000. Christoph received his doctorate with a thesis on the U.S. auto and steel industries and his habilitation in 1999 on the enforcement of liberal foreign economic policies in the United States. He has taught at the J. F. Kennedy Institute at Freie Universität Berlin and at Rutgers University in Newark and received a J. F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University.

He directs the two English-language master's programs (MA Global Political Economy and MA Labor Policies and Governance) in the Department of Political Science. He is spokesperson of the DAAD-awarded International Center for Development and Decent Work for Excellence in Development Cooperation, co-director of the HBS funded PhD program Global Social Policies and Governance, member of the Steering Committee of the Global Labour University, which trains trade unionists at the master's level in political science and economics on four continents. Winner of the "Excellence in Teaching" award of the State of Hesse in 2007. His research interests are in the field of International Political Economy, in particular the governance of the world market in terms of social and environmental sustainability.
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Collective Action as a Prerequisite for Economic and Social Upgrading in Agricultural Production Networks

This article highlights the importance of collective action and the role of the state in upgrading the social and economic conditions of farmworkers and smallholders. It is argued that economic upgrading does not automatically translate into social upgrading for workers and small producers and explores the conditions conducive to social upgrading. The asymmetric power relations among actors in the agricultural value chain erect barriers that hinder social upgrading of smallholders and farmworkers. Collective actions of those who are currently underprivileged in the agricultural value chains and the efforts of states can dismantle these barriers. Drawing on theories relating to power resources and the state, the article documents three successful examples from Pakistan and Brazil where collective action and state involvement have partially dismantled barriers against upgrading.

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Labour surplus is here to stay: why ‘decent work for all’ will remain elusive

In 2015, the United Nations agreed to pursue the Sustainable Development Goal #8 ‘To promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all’. The paper argues that this goal will not be achieved. The abundance of persons offering their labour power in relationship to the limited demand for their labour stems from the insufficient absorption of peasants set free from their land. In many late industrialising countries, most of those who are leaving agriculture do not find gainful employment even at the current junction. In fact, many of the late industrialisers are prematurely de-industrialising. Explanations for the lack of absorption capacity of industries and productive services range from overregulated labour markets to globalisation. On the basis of a comparison between the conditions prevalent among the early industrialisers and present-day late comers to industry and advanced services, the paper highlights other factors: demographic pressures, restrictions on migration, productivity differentials vis-à-vis the Global North and the few successful late industrialisers, and the constraints on the promotion of industry stemming from neoliberal globalisation.

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