Jean Monnet/GGP Fellows
Timea Pal was awarded a second year Jean Monnet Fellowship. She is also part of the Climate Policy Research Unit (CPRU), a research group at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies under the Loyola de Palacio Chair.
Dr Pal is a political economist working on the governance of global production chains, and on its implications on sustainable economic development in emerging economies. Using an international and comparative political economy framework, her doctoral thesis examined the institutional conditions that facilitate or hinder improvements in working conditions in the electronics industry through complementary interactions across national public and transnational private governance approaches. This work was based on more than four years of field research in Eastern Central Europe where she conducted extensive interviews and visited several electronics manufacturing plants that supply lead corporations from more advanced economies.
Prior to receiving her PhD from MIT in 2013, she earned a Master’s degree in Applied Sociology from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the West University of Timisoara.
Global Governance of Labor and Environment: Understanding Public – Private Regulatory Complementarities
During her Jean Monnet fellowship Dr Pal analyses the implementation of corporate environmental governance efforts in the electronics industry, and its complementary interactions with public regulation in different national settings.
One important aspect of the manifest inadequacy of global environmental governance efforts to curb climate change lies in weak environmental regulation in emerging markets, where an increasing share of manufacturing takes place. Governments of less advanced economies often lack the capacities and/or will to regulate effectively the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other pollutants. An important measure to address this governance gap consists in private transnational governance efforts of lead corporations to promote environmental responsibility throughout their supply chains. These initiatives, however, are implemented in different national settings and can interact in a multitude of ways with other forms of regulation.
Dr Pal uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods and analysis to improve the understanding of the conditions that enable complementary interactions across private and public governance approaches in global production chains, The quantitative analysis draws on a unique dataset compiled through a collaborative research initiative between a lead corporation in the electronics industry (Hewlett Packard) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led by Professor Richard Locke. This is complemented with extensive case study analysis of environmental practices and compliance performance of electronics manufacturing facilities located in Eastern European countries – particularly in Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic. Special attention is given also to the role of regulatory framework of the European Union that pertains to environmental practices in the electronics industry.