Call for Papers: Advancing Sustainability of Critical Supply Chains in Developing Countries

The Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains is looking for papers on sustainability in global supply chains with a focus on impacts in developing countries. The Conference of the Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains will be held on 26 and 27 September 2023 at Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany and online.

  • Conference format and theme:

    This conference aims at discussing recent research related to sustainability in global supply chains (GSCs), with a focus on impacts in developing countries. While sustainability concerns permeate various sectors in developing countries, certain industries such as agriculture, forestry, mining, and textiles are more strongly affected. We particularly invite research contributions that address the sectors most prone to environmental and social externalities. Contributions from economics, development studies and international business studies are welcome.

    Suitable topics can be, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Firms: What are challenges in monitoring sustainability in global supply chains? What do growing expectations to be responsible for the social and environmental impacts of business activities mean for the relationship between buyers and suppliers?

    • Perspectives on sustainability: Do firms from developing and developed countries differ in their approaches to managing social and environmental issues in global supply chains What does this mean for competition between countries and organisation of global supply chains?

    • Host country institutions: Which factors may affect the effectiveness of multinational companies’ private governance initiatives in host countries?

    • Global supply chains under attack: What is the impact of industrial policies, competition for access to raw materials, or disruptions due to wars or pandemics on the structure and organisation of supply chains? What do these developments mean for developing countries? Could Africa, for example, benefit from a diversification of supply chains?

    • Developing countries’ participation in supply chains: How do market structures affect the chances for upgrading? What role do standards play? Could regional integration schemes such as the AfCFTA facilitate participation in supply chains?

    Keynote Speaker:

    Prof. Dr. Laura Boudreau (Assistant Professor in the Economics Division at Columbia Business School)

    Submission and selection procedure:

    Submitted papers will be selected based on full-length contributions or extended (maximum three-page) abstracts written on the conference theme. Priority will be given to empirical research with clear implications for policy design and implementation.

    Selection committee:

    Tilman Altenburg, Holger Görg, Jann Lay, Frauke Steglich, Rainer Thiele

    Please email your paper or abstract to in a pdf file indicating ‘IfW GVC Conference 2023’ in the subject heading. The submission deadline is 31 July 2023. Notification of acceptance will be sent out until 10 August 2023. The conference will consist of parallel sessions where the selected papers are presented and discussed, and a poster session. The event will take place in a hybrid format in Kiel, Germany, and online. We will provide selected scholarships for researchers from developing countries to cover travel and visa expenses. Please indicate in the submission email if you would require a scholarship.

    About the organisers:

    The Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The research network aims to synthesise and process existing knowledge and initiate new research on sustainable global value chains for evidence-based policy recommendations. The project is jointly led by the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS, Bonn), the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA, Hamburg), the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW, Kiel), and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP, Berlin).

    Research Project | 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2022

    Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains

    The aim of the research network is to contribute to the sustainability of global supply chains through research. It initiates new research, pools the expertise of leading scientists around the world and makes new findings accessible for political decision-makers and other stakeholders. The network is hosted by a consortium of the German Development Institute (DIE), the GIGA, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
    BMZ, 2020-2022


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