The Obama administration released an “action plan” on Friday (July 19) pressing Bangladesh to significantly increase the number of labor, fire and building inspectors and to improve their training. Three weeks after announcing that U.S would suspend Bangladesh's trade preferences, the Obama administration publicly recommended a series of steps that the Bangladesh government should take to regain its trade privileges with the United States, such as: significantly increase the number...

  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a popular concept among corporations in the past few decades, as firms wish to convey to the public their commitment to various environmental and social causes, as well as the ethical treatment of workers. Still, high-profile controversies such as the working conditions at Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing supplier in China, or the 2013 collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh, continue to raise questions about integrity and corporate...

As supply chains stretch around the globe, scrutiny of working conditions in distant factories has increased. But international labor standards often depend on corporations engaging in “private voluntary regulation,” and even when such standards are adhered to, factory floor dynamics may determine their actual effectiveness. A 2012 study by researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), “The Promise and Perils of Private Voluntary...

The Bangladesh factory collapse has extorted suggestions and analysis from experts in various fields. But few examine the issue through an empirical lens. Brown University Professor (currently at MIT’s Political Science Department) Richard M Locke’s latest book The Promise & Limits of Private Power, published in April 2013, aims to do just that. The review below, taken from an online MIT portal , outlines the structure of the book and defines its basic contributions. The Promise...

(In)Famous for the Rana Plaza Factory collapse, its struggling economy and poverty, Bangladesh’s worthwhile successes have escaped most of public knowledge until recently. PBS reports on BRAC, formerly, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee  , the world’s largest non-governmental organization serving 160 million people in the country. Started by Fazle Abed, BRAC caters to the this South Asian country’s problems through microfinance schemes ($9 billion), lending money to small and medium...