Handbook on Global Value Chains
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Handbook on Global Value Chains

Edited by Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert

Global value chains (GVCs) are a key feature of the global economy in the 21st century. They show how international investment and trade create cross-border production networks that link countries, firms and workers around the globe. This Handbook describes how GVCs arise and vary across industries and countries, and how they have evolved over time in response to economic and political forces. With chapters written by leading interdisciplinary scholars, the Handbook unpacks the key concepts of GVC governance and upgrading, and explores policy implications for advanced and developing economies alike.
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Chapter 34: The roles of the state in global value chains

Rory Horner and Matthew Alford

Abstract

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.

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