Chapter 7 discussion questions

Global Supply Chains: Struggle Within or Against Them?

Sanjiv Pandita and Fahmi Panimbang

As workers’ rights advocates with the Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Sanjiv Pandita and Fahmi Panimbang present an impassioned call to reject existing efforts to reform global supply chains. They argue that the global supply chain system cannot be reformed because of its reliance on corporations being able to externalize risk to workers in developing countries. The authors contend that efforts which promote the adoption of ‘top down’ labor codes and standards are limited in their efficacy and actually undermine the sovereignty of nation states and the potential for grassroots action. The chapter challenges prevailing ideas about supply chain reform and presents a compelling argument from activists working in the field.



  1. What are the components of global supply chains beyond commodities, and why is the expansion of global supply chains important?
  2. What is the “triangle manufacturing” process, and what roles do different states play within it?
  3. Do you agree with the authors’ critiques of NGO and trade union involvement in corporate social responsibility programs?
  4. Do you agree with the authors that the global supply chain system cannot be reformed? Why/why not?
  5. What alternatives exist to reforming the global supply chain system?