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Rory Horner and Matthew Alford

While understanding the influence of private governance through global lead firms has been a defining feature of global value chain (GVC) analysis, the state has often been implicitly observed as part of the broader institutional context shaping GVCs. More recently, however, the state-GVC nexus has attracted more explicit attention. Drawing on insights from GVC research, the chapter highlights four roles of the state within GVCs: as facilitator, regulator, producer and buyer - and outlines key issues on the research agenda in relation to each role. While the facilitator role has received considerable attention and the regulator role is a growing focus, those of producer and buyer are relatively underexplored. The chapter concludes that the contemporary reformulation of economic globalization means the state-GVC nexus is, and will continue to be, especially significant in shaping development outcomes.