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Garment Factory

Project Details

Disciplines: International Political Economy ; Management Science ; Industrial Relations

Principal investigators: Professor Damian Raess & Professor Matthew Amengual

Institutional lead: World Trade Institute, University of Bern

Funder: Swiss National Science Foundation

Start date (SNSF funding): 01 January 2022

Third-party funder: Centre for Corporate Reputation, University of Oxford

Key words: private labor regulation, trade, capacity building, sustainable social development, developing countries, free trade agreements, globalization

The Team

This project is based at the World Trade Institute of the University of Bern, Switzerland, but it is conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. It brings together a team of experts working on the interface between international trade, global value chains and labor standards. Building on a collaboration with a business partner, it has relevance for the world of policy and practice.


Dr Damian Raess

Principal Investigator

Dr. Damian Raess co-leads the project and is known for his work on globalization and industrial relations, and the design and impact of labor provisions in trade agreements. Raess is an SNSF Professor of Political Science at the World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland. 


Dr Matthew Amengual

Principal Investigator

Dr Matthew Amengual co-leads this project.  He has conducted research on labor standards in global supply chains for over a decade.  Amengual is Associate Professor in International Business at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.


Dr Joseph Bommarito

Core Team Member

Dr Joseph Bommarito is a postdoctoral researcher at the World Trade Institute, University of Bern. He graduated with a degree in political science in 2021 and works on understanding how supply chains link countries together. Joseph’s recent research has looked at how the global maritime industry creates spatial patterns affecting global trade and investment.


Dr Alessandro Guasti

Core Team Member

Dr Alessandro Guasti is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Corporate Reputation in the Saïd Business School, Oxford University. Alessandro’s research interests focus on trade, globalization and labor standards. He studies the effects of global governance tools such as private regulation and preferential trade agreements with labor clauses on social compliance and trade relationships.

Advisory Board

We have constituted an advisory board composed of three individuals with extensive research and policy experience in the area of voluntary sustainability initiatives. Their role vis-à-vis the project is a reviewer role, and they will ensure that our research is relevant for policy and practice.

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Guillaume Delautre

Technical officer/Economist, ILO Employment Policy Department

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Dr Sara Elder

Policy Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development 


Malena Wåhlin

Program Manager and Coordinator, Human Rights Defenders and Civic Space, Swedwatch


Alexandra Eugster

MSc Applied Economic Analysis, University of Bern


Alessandro Giammaria

St Cross College, MPhil in Economics, University of Oxford


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