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The New Conversations Project aims to diagnose critical problems in the private and public regulation approaches regarding labor standards through cutting edge research leading to evidence-based conversations and decisions amongst fragmented constituencies—unions, brands, suppliers, civil society, and governments to improve outcomes for workers in in the supply chain. In so doing, the project will inform efforts for enlightened public regulation as well as more effective methods for collective bargaining in today’s global economy.

The research network is led by by Sarosh Kuruvilla, Professor of Industrial Relations, Asian Studies and Public Affairs in Cornell’s ILR School, and includes a network of accomplished project of accomplished researchers including Matthew Amengual of Oxford University, Greg Distelhorst of MIT and the University of Toronto, Jennifer Bair of the University of Virginia, Sarah Ashwin and Chunyun Li from the London School of Economics, and Raymond Robertson from Texas A&M University. The Project’s methodology involves extensive field research, the analysis of data from global companies, multi-stakeholder institutions, and other actors in the burgeoning eco-system of private and public regulation.

In the two years since its founding, NCP has made significant findings highlighting a number of different problems with private and public regulation, but also pointing to pathways for improvement. These findings challenge core assumptions of private and public regulation efforts and several of the early papers are available to read on this website.

Research Outputs

Published Papers on Social Dialogue Project

Social Dialogue in the 21st Century is a collaborative project between the Cornell ILR School’s New Conversations Project and the Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation (SP), which includes the Fair Wear Foundation, CNV Internationaal, and Mondiaal FNV.
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Book "Private Regulation and Labor Standards in Global Supply Chains" Published

NCP Executive Director Sarosh Kuruvilla's book examines the practice of private regulation in respect of labor standards in global supply chains.
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Papers and Work in Progress

Discover the latest areas of research at New Conversations Project
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COVID-19 and the Garment Industry Brief

The New Conversations Project has published a new research brief with the ILO assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the apparel industry in Asia and the Pacific.
Female garment workers wearing masks.

Published Papers on Labor Practices in Global Supply Chains

ILR Review published special issue devoted to research findings on sustainable labor practices in global supply chains.
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