Works in Progress
Bad Goods: On the Political Morality of Production and Consumption in Global Supply Chains
People buy many products produced in ways that would be illegal or immoral if they occurred in developed countries. Call these “dirty” products. For example, one might buy products that have been produced by firms that clear-cut forests, intimidate labour organizers, or violate domestic health and safety or child labour laws in developing countries. On the other hand, many of the global poor rely on the employment opportunities that global production networks create, and developing countries see their low production costs as their comparative advantage to attract foreign investment and upgrade to higher stages of development. In this dissertation, I ask two related questions about dirty products. First, what kinds of flaws in global production networks are morally unacceptable from a global perspective? Second, to whom does the responsibility to remedy such flaws fall?