Rents, Power and Governance in Global Value Chains

Davis, Dennis; Kaplinsky, Raphael and Morris, Mike (2022). Rents, Power and Governance in Global Value Chains. In: Lianos, Ioannis; Ivanov, Alexey and Morris, Mike eds. Global Food Value Chains and Competition Law. Cambridge University Press, pp. 29–54.



Chapter 2 provides a conceptual architecture for analysing the governance of global value chains (‘GVCs’). It distinguishes between three spheres of governance: (i) setting the rules (i.e. ‘legislative governance’), (ii) implementing the rules (i.e. ‘executive governance’) and, (iii) monitoring rules and sanctioning malfeasance (i.e. ‘judicial governance’). This analytical framework is focused on the exercise of power in GVCs which affects the generation, protection and appropriation of rents. It is considered through the lens of four sets of key GVC stakeholders: the corporate sector (‘endogenous governance’), civil society organisations, the nation state and supranational institutions (who collectively reflect what we term ‘exogenous governance’). The Chapter concludes that whilst the corporate sector is very effective in governing its GVCs, the other three sets of stakeholders have deficient capabilities in this regard. Three case studies are presented which lead to and support the hypothesis that the capacity of non-corporate stakeholders to govern GVCs is contingent upon the extent to which this coincides with the interest of the corporate sector.

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