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240139 FS FM1 - Research Seminar (Part 1) - Research Design (2020W)

Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung



max. 20 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Dienstag 06.10. 09:00 - 12:15 Digital
Dienstag 20.10. 09:00 - 12:15 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Dienstag 03.11. 09:00 - 12:15 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Dienstag 17.11. 09:00 - 12:15 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Dienstag 15.12. 09:00 - 12:15 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

This is a two-semester long course on global production networks, labour and transnational organizing. In the first semester, each student should develop an own research project and a theoretically and empirically informed research design on a topic related to the main theme of the course. The research design developed during this semester will be the basis for conducting the research project and writing a research paper in the spring semester 2021.

The overall theme of the course deals with changes in the global economy and the expansion of global production networks that connect firms, workers and consumers around the globe. These transformations in global production have crucial implications for how firms, producers and workers in the Global South are integrated into the global economy and for uneven socio-economic development outcomes. The outcomes are closely related to asymmetric power relations and inequalities intrinsic to global production networks, but also to political economy dynamics in regions and countries in which firms, producers and workers are embedded.

Chain and network approaches used to mainly focus on firms and implications for economic upgrading, but more recently the social outcomes of globalized production and also the role of labor agency, worker power and transnational struggles and organizing has developed to an important research area. The rise of global production networks has posed challenges to traditional labour regulation, and over the past decades numerous responses have emerged in the context of transnational labour governance, including the emergence of “privatized” corporate self-governance, multi-stakeholder initiatives as well as transnational labour activism and efforts to organize “along the chain”, linking workers and producers in the Global South to workers, consumers, firms, states and other actors in the Global North.

This research seminar focuses on the socio-economic uneven development outcomes of global production networks and particularly on implications for and the role of labour, worker power and transnational organizing in global production networks. The conceptual focus will be on chain and network approaches and particularly on concepts for understanding labour agency and worker power, drawing on insights from global labour studies, labour history and feminist studies. Methodologically, the focus will be on trade, labour and industry data and particularly interview-based methods to conduct research on topics around global production networks, labour and transnational organizing.

The first semester of the research seminar has three main objectives:
- First, acquire a critical understanding of the literature on global production networks, labour/worker power and transnational organizing
- Second, develop an understanding of the research process and be able to develop an own research project and design, including finding a research area/topic, developing research objectives and questions, understanding the importance of theory and getting an overview of methodological approaches
- Third, develop an own research project and design, which should be related to the overall theme of the class and includes reading literature, dealing with theoretical concepts and developing methodological approaches that are particularly relevant for the specific project; each student picks a particular case study on transnational organizing, e.g. the Clean Cloth Campaign, Fair Trade, Via Campesina, transnational trade union activities or a topic of choice related to the main theme

Sessions will involve inputs by the lecturer, discussions and presentations based on required readings for each class, group discussions among students working on similar research topics, presentations by students on their research projects and designs, individual and also group meetings with the lecturer, and other formats that will be useful to support students in developing their own research projects.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

The research seminar will very probably take place online through collaborate, but if the number of participants and the current situation and regulations regarding Covid-19 allow for it, there will also be selected classroom sessions. The first session on October 6th (9-12am) will take place online. Participants will receive an e-mail through Moodle on details regarding the first session. The further procedure will be discussed in detail in the first session. Attendance in the first session is mandatory!

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Students are expected to have knowledge of development economics and to have attended the methods module.
- Reading of, writing critical statements (half a page) and/or preparing short presentations on required texts for each session (individual work). A critical statement includes the main argument(s) of the text and critical comments on one or more aspects of the text.  Attention: One text must be read before the first session and uploaded to Moodle on the day of the first session (see below)!
- Presenting in class key insights from a text on a specific aspect of the overall topic (labour agency & worker power, gender issues & women workers, transnational labour governance initiatives). This comes in addition to the preparation of critical text statements on the other texts.
- Preparing a research proposal, including research topic, research questions, and theoretical and methodological approach for an individual meeting with the lecturer (around 2-3 pages, 3 days in advance of the meeting, individual work)
- Presenting the research design (individual work)
- Feedback on the research design of other students
- Writing the research design of around 30.000 characters, including spaces (12pt, 1 ½ line spacing, individual work) by 31/01/2021
- Regular appearance and active participation in the course and the discussions (probably online, but if possible hybrid)



This text must be read and a critical text statement (half a page) must be prepared and uploaded on Moddle before the first session on October 5th: Milberg, W. 2004. The Changing Structure of Trade Linked to Global Production Systems: What are the policy implications?, International Labor Review Vol. 143, No. 1.2.

The complete literature list will be introduced in the first session and made available on the Moodle-platform.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis


Letzte Änderung: Mo 05.10.2020 10:10