Global Labour University

Research & publications

The GLU research spans areas such as trade unions, sustainable development, social justice, international labour standards, multinational companies, economic policies and global institutions. It promotes research cooperation on global labour issues and provides an innovative framework for research and policy development.

The GLU also publishes research and discussion papers on issues of labour and globalisation. Other online, open-access websites that capture labour activities and cover related topics are also featured below.

International research projects

Global Value Chains

Economic and Social Upgrading

The project investigates the effects of the restructuring of global value chains on income distribution, working conditions and trajectories of economic and social upgrading in the global North and South. It connects inter-disciplinary theory building with sectoral and national case studies, bringing together macro-economic perspectives with sociological and political economy approaches. The aim is to develop a better understanding of the industry- and country-specific factors that determine economic and social upgrading in global value chains and to assess the scope of action of governments, trade unions and civil society.

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Combating Inequality

Causes of economic and social inequality

The ‘combating inequality’ project examines the causes of economic and social inequality, charts its development since the early 1990s, assesses countermeasures, works out strategies for their implementation, and identifies supportive social forces. It examines whether inequality in the national and the international context is undermining democracy and economic stability; and whether it is blocking individual and collective advancement as well as the creation of employment. The project is global in outlook and builds in particular on the expertise of the GLU partner institutions in Brazil, Germany, India and South Africa.

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GLU alumni research projects



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