The globalization of markets and the increased outsourcing of production have given rise to global production networks (GPNs) linking internationally branded companies in the West to vast networks of suppliers, contractors and workers in developing countries and countries in transition. However, the literature on GPNs has only recently begun to pay more detailed attention to conceptualizing the role that labor plays in such networks. This article makes a contribution to the emerging literature on labor agency in GPNs by arguing that labor agency in export-oriented industries in developing countries may be highly gendered and tends to be more constrained than facilitated by both vertical forces (the governance of GPNs) and horizontal forces (local socio-economic and labor market contexts). This is done through a case study of labor agency in the football manufacturing industry of Sialkot, Pakistan.
Geoforum, 2013, Vol 44, p. 71-81
Labor Agency; Pakistan; Sialkot; Football Manufacturing; Gendered Economy; Global Production Networks