Course Subject
Course Number
Course Credit

Protecting Rights and Promoting Development: Labor and Environmental Standards in the Global Economy

Course Description

Is there a place for protective regulations in a global market economy? Globalization exerts increasing pressure on producers, and many business managers and investors around the world react by claiming that labor and environmental regulations increase their costs and decrease their ability to compete. Likewise, elected leaders, hard-pressed to prevent these businesses from moving out and eager to bring new ones in, often respond by weakening or eliminating protective regulations altogether.

Meanwhile, the removal of regulatory protections exposes workers, members of underprivileged groups such as children, women, and undocumented immigrants, and all those who live near production sites to a range of negative externalities. Understandably, these individuals and their representatives, including NGOs, unions, community organizations, and some elected leaders, insist that nobody should be forced to live in unhealthy, hazardous, and depleted settings to promote economic development that can be limited in duration and scope. Faced with such a dilemma, what are policy-makers and public managers to do?

This course examines the challenge of regulating labor and environmental standards in developing countries. It identifies the origins and nature of the problem; the different solutions that have been proposed and implemented; the results that have already been achieved; and some of the challenges that remain ahead.


CORE-GP.1022 or URPL-GP.2660