Political openness and transnational activism: Comparative insights from labor activism

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Abstract

Scholars have posited both a positive and a negative relationship between political openness and transnational activism, arguing that while closed opportunity structures positively affect activism by creating strong incentives for activists to "go transnational," they also negatively affect activism by inhibiting local groups from participating. The author argues that these contrary arguments are largely the result of an insufficiently developed comparative approach to the study of transnational activism. By examining countries at different levels of openness and multiple types of activism, she shows that different types of activism are affected in distinct ways by the level of political openness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-304
Number of pages28
JournalPolitics and Society
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

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Caraway Teri L. Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis caraway@polisci.umn.edu 06 2006 34 2 277 304 Scholars have posited both a positive and a negative relationship between political openness and transnational activism, arguing that while closed opportunity structures positively affect activism by creating strong incentives for activists to “go transnational,” they also negatively affect activism by inhibiting local groups from participating. The author argues that these contrary arguments are largely the result of an insufficiently developed comparative approach to the study of transnational activism. By examining countries at different levels of openness and multiple types of activism, she shows that different types of activism are affected in distinct ways by the level of political openness. transnational activism labor Burma Indonesia India sagemeta-type Journal Article search-text Political Openness and Transnational Activism: Comparative Insights from Labor Activism TERI L. CARAWAY Scholars have posited both a positive and a negative relationship between political openness and transnational activism, arguing that while closed opportunity structures positively affect activism by creating strong incentives for activists to "go transna- tional," they also negatively affect activism by inhibiting local groups from partici- pating. The author argues that these contrary arguments are largely the result of an insufficiently developed comparative approach to the study of transnational activism. By examining countries at different levels of openness and multiple types of activism, she shows that different types of activism are affected in distinct ways by the level of political openness. Keywords: transnational activism; labor; Burma; Indonesia; India Transnational action is complicated by the fact that different national contexts offer varying opportunities for, and constraints on, social movement mobilization and political action.1 I. INTRODUCTION One of the most accepted findings of current research on transnational activism is that a closed political opportunity structure at the domestic level is an important precondition for the initiation of transnational activism. In Keck and Sikkink's 277 I would like to thank Isabella Alcañiz, Mark Anner, Maria Lorena Cook, Tulia Falleti, Edward Gibson, Ron Krebs, Lauren Morris Agatha Schmaedick, MacLean, Kathryn Sikkink, Sidney Tarrow, and the Editorial Board of Politics & Society for comments on earlier versions of this article. POLITICS & SOCIETY, Vol. 34 No. 2, June 2006 277-304 DOI: 10.1177/0032329206288155 © 2006 Sage Publications well-known formulation, the boomerang effect, local actors that cannot achieve their goals in the domestic political arena link up with activists beyond borders in order to promote change at home.2 Yet there is startlingly little systematic consideration of how the domestic political environment affects transnational activism, and existing research points in different directions. On the one hand, scholars have argued that political opportunity structures affect the incentives for activists to "go transnational," with strong incentives for activists in closed polities and weaker incentives in open polities. On the other hand, scholars have also noted that repression in closed polities negatively affects transnational activism, since it inhibits the capacity of local groups to participate. How do these contrary pressures shape transnational activism? This article explores the impact of the domestic political context on transna- tional activism through an examination of transnational labor activism targeting labor rights abuses in three countries--Burma, Indonesia, and India--from the late 1980s to the present. I argue that these contrary arguments are largely the result of an insufficiently developed comparative approach to the study of transna- tional activism. By examining countries at different levels of openness and multiple types of activism, I show that different types of activism are affected in distinct ways by the level of political openness. In closed polities, the difficulty of finding local partners and of circulating information and people across bor- ders makes some types of activism difficult to mount, but many types of activism require neither and can be undertaken. In open polities, the presence of many local partners and the ease with which information and people flow across bor- ders facilitate some types of activism, but since states commit fewer violations and local actors can often address issues through domestic political institutions, some types of activism are unviable. Even for types of activism that can be deployed at an array of levels of political openness, notable differences often emerge in both the form and the quality that the activism assumes. "Transnational" in this article refers to activism that involves activists from two or more countries working together to achieve common political objectives or that involves activists in one country engaging in activism that targets another country. I will focus on a subset of transnational activism, that in which transna- tional actors become involved with labor issues in Burma, Indonesia, and India. Rather than exploring one campaign in depth or a single type of activism, as most authors do, I incorporate a wide range of labor activism in order to gauge the effect of domestic political circumstances on different kinds of activism. The article begins with a discussion of how the existing literature on transnational activism theorizes about domestic contexts and then outlines the level of open- ness in the three countries. After elucidating the theoretical and empirical back- ground, I show how the domestic political milieu interacts with different types of transnational labor activism. 278 POLITICS & SOCIETY II. TRANSNATIONAL ACTIVISM AND POLITICAL OPENNESS The importance of domestic contexts comes up repeatedly in the literature on transnational activism, but there has been little systematic attention to how they affect the possibilities for transnational activism. Rather, scholars either focus on how domestic factors affect the success of particular transnational efforts or on how transnational modes of political action alter outcomes at the national level.3 In most of the theoretical constructs, transnational activism affects domes- tic politics by adding another level--the international level--to the political game, allowing weak domestic actors to overcome unfavorable domestic politi- cal opportunity structures.4 Whereas social movement theorists tend to empha- size the importance of open political opportunity structures in generating social movement activity, scholars of transnational activism have stressed the closure of domestic political opportunity structures and argue that blockage in the domes- tic political opportunity structure induces local actors to "go transnational."5 The level of "openness" of a polity therefore has an impact on whether domestic actors engage in transnational activism.6 Since actors in relatively open political systems are more likely to be able to achieve their domestic polit- ical goals through existing channels of influence at the national level, they are less likely to engage in transnational activism. Democratic political systems provide more avenues than authoritarian systems for weak actors to influence the state, and strident appeals by losers in open political systems are unlikely to gain outside support when the rule of law and basic human rights are respected. While activists in open states tend to resort to domestic channels of influence to address national issues, activists in relatively repressive states "frequently go outside the nation-state, appealing to global constituencies rather than local ones for support."7 These arguments about blockage in the domestic arena lead to an expectation of a negative relationship between political openness and transnational activism (see Figure 1). However, a common theme in the literature is that transnational activism is strongly affected by the presence of local partners and their capacity to take action.8 Scholars have observed that the absence of local partners limits the capac- ity of transnational actors to engage in activism, while strong domestic allies make transnational activism more successful.9 Since repression can limit transnational activism by hampering the activities or even the emergence of local groups, polit- ical liberalization can provide more opportunities for action.10 This observation thus suggests a positive relationship between political openness and transnational activism (see Figure 1). The literature thus points in different directions. The blockage in closed poli- ties should lead to greater incentives to engage in transnational activism, but repression limits the capacity of local actors to cooperate with activists from TERI L. CARAWAY 279 overseas. In open polities, less blockage and repression exist, but less blockage should lead to less transnational activism while less repression should lead to more. This apparent contradiction is less puzzling, however, if we consider the possibility that certain types of transnational activism have elective affinities with particular levels of openness. III. POLITICAL OPENNESS AND TYPES OF ACTIVISM For the purposes of this study, political openness is determined by combin- ing three separate measures. The first component is democracy, defined as not only the regular occurrence of free and fair elections but also the enforcement of the rule of law and respect for human rights. This component affects both the level of violations that occur and the probability that local actors can redress grievances through domestic political institutions. The second feature is the presence of NGOs and other groups that are independent of the state and the capacity of these groups to carry out organizational activities. Finally, the third aspect of the definition is the ability to circulate information and people in and out of the country, which is vital for developing and maintaining a network.11 "Political openness" is not synonymous with regime type. As many scholars have observed, the Third Wave of "democratization" has resulted in a befuddling array of political systems that incorporate some features of liberal democracies, such as competitive elections, yet retain many features characteristic of authori- tarian regimes, such as restrictions on civil liberties and the weak rule of law.12 280 POLITICS & SOCIETY Political Openness TransnationalActivism PartnersBlockage Figure 1. Contrasting effects of political openness on transnational activism. These characteristics need to be captured in the analysis since they have impor- tant implications for transnational activism. There are also important differences in political openness among regimes in the same category. For example, although Burma and Suharto's Indonesia were both authoritarian, Suharto allowed NGOs to undertake many activities while Burma ruthlessly suppressed all NGO activ- ity. Liberal democracies score highly on all three measures of openness, author- itarian regimes vary primarily on the second and third measures, and those that occupy the "gray zone"13 of hybrid regimes vary on all three. Of course, there may be issue area variations in openness,14 and for the purposes of this study, I focus on labor rights. Different types of activism, in turn, are affected in distinct ways by the level of political openness. In open polities, states are responsible for fewer violations, so tactics that target particular kinds of violations become less relevant, and when violations occur, they are usually addressed through domestic political institu- tions. In closed polities, in contrast, there is a higher probability that states will commit violations and there is little recourse available through domestic political institutions. Similarly, types of activism that rely on establishing links with local groups or that require rapid information exchange and mobility can be utilized in open polities but are difficult to carry out in extremely closed ones. The link between political openness and variables related to transnational activism is out- lined in Table 1. "Open" and "closed" are ideal types in this table; most countries will be between low and high on some or all of the variables. By matching up the characteristics of each type of activism with the variables related to political openness for a country, it is possible to deduce which types of activism mesh well with particular patterns of openness. I define types of activism as agglomerations of tactics that share a series of features that are affected deeply by the level of political openness. Figure 2 utilizes the characteristics of transna- tional activism that are affected by the domestic context to construct six types of activism. The first type of activism is dynamic campaigns--issue-oriented actions that mobilize groups and information both inside the targeted country and overseas. Anti-sweatshop activism targeting Nike is an example of a dynamic campaign. The second type of activism, institution building, aims to create or strengthen organi- zations in the targeted country in hopes of furthering the goals of activists from overseas. Efforts by international unions to build and consolidate national unions fall in this category. The remaining types of activism are distinguished by the breadth of the violations against which they can be deployed and the degree of sen- sitivity to the capacity of local partners to redress grievances through domestic institutions. The third type of activism targets a limited range of violations and is extremely sensitive to the ability of local partners to seek redress through domes- tic political institutions. The Alien Tort Claims Act, for example, can be used to target just a few particularly egregious violations and requires that petitioners demonstrate that they cannot gain a fair hearing in local courts. The fourth type of TERI L. CARAWAY 281 activism is also narrowly targeted but in contrast is relatively insensitive to the blockage of domestic actors. The labor rights social clause in the European Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) falls in this category, since it only targets forced labor and can be deployed regardless of whether domestic actors can poten- tially get the violation rectified locally. The fifth type of activism targets a wide array of violations and is sensitive to the capacity of local actors to rectify issues through local avenues. National boycotts fall in this category--although they can be used to target a wide range of violations, due to the extreme nature of this mea- sure, they are only deployed when local actors are blocked. Finally, the sixth type of activism targets a broad range of issues but is relatively insensitive to the block- age of local actors. Complaints to the International Labor Organization (ILO) fall in this category--they can be used to target a wide range of labor rights violations and can be filed regardless of whether domestic actors can address their concerns locally. How are these types of activism affected by the level of political openness? The first factor that separates types of activism is their dependence on intense cooperation with local partners. Since both institution building and dynamic cam- paigns require such cooperation, they are unviable in extremely closed polities. Although the rapid exchange of information and people across borders is benefi- cial for institution building, the goal is to develop institutions in the targeted coun- try rather than to mobilize information for campaigns abroad, so it can potentially be carried out under more constrained circumstances than dynamic campaigns. In contrast, since the main arena of action is overseas, the other four types of activism do not rely on intense cooperation with local partners. Consequently, they can be deployed in more closed political contexts than dynamic campaigns and institution building. Cooperation with local partners is helpful in these types of activism, of course, but the absence of partners does not preclude the possibility of deploying them. The "narrowly targeted/blocked partners" type of activism is a poor fit with open political systems. Assuming that tactics that rely on nar- rowly defined violations will target the most egregious abuses, the probability that such violations will occur in open polities is low; furthermore, since local actors must be blocked, it is usually not amenable to relatively open political systems. The "broadly targeted/blocked partners" type of activism is similarly constrained by its sensitivity to blockage, but it can be deployed in a wider range 282 POLITICS & SOCIETY Table 1 Political Openness and Its Influence on Variables Related to Transnational Activism Open Closed Level of violations Low High Availability of local partners High Low Ability to move people and information rapidly across borders High Low Access to domestic institutions High Low 283 Intensecooperationwith localpartnersincountry required? Rapidexchangeof informationand peopleacross bordersessential? Typesofviolations Dynamiccampaigns Institutionbuilding Sensitivityto accesstodomestic politicalinstitutions Sensitivityto accesstodomestic politicalinstitutions Narrowlytargeted/ blockedpartners Narrowlytargeted/ insensitivetoblockage Broadlytargeted/ blockedpartners Broadlytargeted/ insensitivetoblockage Yes Yes No No Narrow Broad High Low High Low Figure2.Typesoftransnationalactivism. of settings than the narrowly targeted/blocked partners type of activism, since it targets a broader range of violations. The "narrowly targeted/insensitive to blockage type" of activism can be deployed regardless of whether domestic actors are blocked, but since it focuses on a small set of violations, it is usually a poor fit with the most open political systems. Some tactics that fall in this category, however, could conceivably be deployed in more open polities, depending on the specific violation that it targets and whether the violation occurs in the country. Finally, the "broadly targeted/insensitive to blockage" type of activism can be deployed at all levels of openness since it targets a wide range of violations and is not sensitive to access to redress through domestic political institutions and can hence be deployed regardless of whether local partners face blockage domestically. It is important to note that the level of political openness determines elective affinities with particular types of activism, not the amount of activism or the suc- cess of that activism. In this sense, it lays out the "contextual constraints" that activists face.15 The amount of activism that takes place depends not only on polit- ical openness in the domestic polity but also on the level of interest from abroad and the willingness of local actors to engage in such activism with foreigners. The success of activism also depends on a host of factors that are unrelated to the level of political openness. However, if activists pursue a type of activism that is a poor fit with the level of openness in a country, then the chances of success are probably slim. A good match between the type of activism and the level of open- ness may be a necessary but insufficient condition for success. IV. POLITICAL OPENNESS IN BURMA, INDONESIA, AND INDIA The domestic context in Burma, Indonesia, and India varies considerably. Burma was and remains the most closed of the three polities, while India is the most open. Indonesia is the bridge case. Under Suharto, Indonesia was authoritarian but more open than Burma; after Suharto's fall, the political system opened significantly, but it remains less open than in India. This ranking of the cases corresponds with other measures, such as Freedom House's country ratings of political rights and civil liberties, and Diamond's recent classification of regimes.16 Burma, the most closed of the three countries, has experienced authoritarian rule since 1962.17 There are no independent trade unions, and after the bloody repression of pro-democracy protesters in 1988, even the state-backed union was dissolved.18 The only trade union confederation, the Free Trade Union of Burma (FTUB), operates in exile and concentrates its efforts in the border areas where armed insurgencies have weakened central control.19 Burma has not allowed organizations independent of the state to operate freely, and there are no human rights organizations in the country.20 Burmese NGOs operate mainly in the border areas. 284 POLITICS & SOCIETY Activism in Burma is further complicated by the difficulty of moving people and information across borders. Even after the regime began to promote tourism and foreign investment in the 1990s, foreigners were monitored extremely closely.21 The regime routinely denies entry to journalists, NGO staff, and inde- pendent monitors,22 and Burmese citizens who cooperate with foreign human rights organizations are arrested.23 The unauthorized import, possession, and use of two-way electronic communication is subject to harsh punishment.24 The government restricts full access to the Internet and monitors all e-mail commu- nications, and the Ministry of Defense operates the only Internet server in the country and offers limited but expensive Internet services.25 Burmese also have difficulty leaving the country legally.26 Although Indonesia also experienced authoritarian rule during the Suharto years, it was more open than Burma.27 The regime recognized one state-backed union, the Federasi Buruh Seluruh Indonesia (FBSI, later renamed SPSI), but repressed all efforts to form independent unions.28 While the regime suppressed independent unionizing, it was more permissive toward NGOs, and a vibrant network developed in the 1980s. Although the government harassed NGOs and made attempts to cut off foreign funding, the regime never completely shut them down.29 Many NGOs focused on labor issues, and by the 1990s they formed national networks and developed links with transnational activists.30 The most important transnational forum was the International NGO Forum on Indonesia (INGI, later renamed INFID), established in 1985, which linked Indonesian NGOs with NGOs from countries that provided foreign aid to Indonesia. After the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia liberalized significantly and has held two relatively free and fair elections. The most important development on the labor front was the recognition of freedom of association and the right to organize, which led to the emergence of dozens of independent union federations. Numerous labor rights abuses continued, however, and workers faced difficulties in resolv- ing these issues through domestic institutions.31 Both before and after Suharto's fall, Indonesia's deep integration into the inter- national economy facilitated transnational activism. Information and people cir- culated relatively freely, and the sixty-day visa-on-arrival facility enabled activists to enter the country easily.32 Travel to most parts of Indonesia was unrestricted. Internet access, though expensive for most Indonesians, was easily obtained in major urban areas by the mid-1990s, and by the late 1990s the Internet was acces- sible in much of Indonesia through inexpensive Internet cafés.33 Whereas Indonesia has only recently embarked on democratization, India is the longest-lived democracy in the developing world, and the vitality of its civil society reflects this. There are ten major trade union centers, all of which are affiliated with a political party.34 NGOs are also plentiful.35 Although India is a democracy, many citizens have difficulty exercising their rights fully as a result of the persistence of traditional forms of social control; in addition, India's labor TERI L. CARAWAY 285 unions rarely have a presence beyond large factories and the public sector.36 Some labor rights violations are rampant, and Indian NGOs and activists from abroad have concentrated much of their effort on bonded and child labor. In recent years, labor practices in the newly established export processing zones have also come under fire.37 Workers in the organized sector enjoy relatively strong protections, while those in unorganized and new sectors are routinely denied their rights. As would be expected in a democracy, Indian citizens can travel in and out of India relatively freely, but the government has limited the access of some international NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.38 Many foreign activists, however, enter the country without government interfer- ence. Movement within the country is unrestricted with the exception of some border areas.39 Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has developed rapidly in India, and many independent Internet service providers exist.40 These varying levels of openness in Burma, India, and Indonesia and their impact on the four areas affecting transnational activism are illustrated in Table 2. As will be shown below, these differences between the domestic political context have important consequences for both the feasibility and character of particular types of activism as well as the extent to which activism can be carried out in line with the ideals of activists. V. THE IMPACT OF POLITICAL OPENNESS ON TYPES OF ACTIVISM The comparative methodology of this study is designed to tap into variance on both levels of openness and types of activism. Thus far, studies of transnational activism have not adopted a comparative methodology of this kind. Most studies focus on one type of activism and examine campaigns that target international institutions or one country. Studies that analyze transnational activism in just one country have difficulty demonstrating persuasively that the domestic context is explaining the outcome of concern. Those that discuss more than one country usu- ally examine only one type of activism. Scholars of transnational activism who focus on one type of activism, therefore, often come to different conclusions about the impact of the domestic political context than scholars examining another type of activism. The theoretical contribution of this article is thus tied intimately to an explicitly comparative approach. Table 3 presents in summary form the empirical findings about the how the different types of activism vary across different levels of openness.41 Within each type of activism, tactics deployed in the countries are arrayed in rows; a blank indicates that the tactic was not used in the country. In some cases, these tactics were probably viable, and the reasons that they were not utilized will be dis- cussed below. The tactics listed in Table 3 are not exhaustive, but they represent the most common tactics that target domestic labor rights abuses. The summary 286 POLITICS & SOCIETY results largely conform to expectations--dynamic campaigns and institution building did not take place in Burma, the most closed case, while narrowly targeted/ insensitive to blockage, narrowly targeted/blocked partners, and broadly tar- geted/blocked partners types of activism were absent in India, the most open case. The broadly targeted/insensitive to blockage type of activism appeared at many levels of activism, as anticipated. Table 3 not only reveals how different levels of openness affect different types of activism, but also shows how the level of political openness affects the form and the quality of certain kinds of activism. For example, while ILO complaints occurred at all levels of openness, the parties filing the complaints and the nature of the complaints changed as openness increased. Similarly, union development activism took place at multiple levels of openness, but in relatively closed contexts such as Suharto's Indonesia, organi- zations had to sacrifice some of their ideals in order to carry out their work. Dynamic Campaigns The dynamic campaign type of activism relies on both intense cooperation with local partners and the rapid flow of information and people across borders. It is therefore only feasible in countries where local partners are available and in which communications and mobility are fluid. Targeted campaigns and mon- itoring are the two tactics that emerged in this type of activism. In targeted campaigns, activists seek to remedy labor rights violations through sustained action around particular issues or cases. Networks of NGOs and unions, sometimes in coordination but often only loosely so, mobilize information, gen- erate publicity, and influence consumers to put pressure on corporations and coun- tries to respect labor rights.42 Most of these campaigns are anticorporate in nature, but campaigns also focus on specific issues, such as child labor, forced labor, gender discrimination, and cross-border organizing campaigns. In Burma, the absence of local partners has hobbled campaigns. It is impossi- ble to secure information in a timely fashion, as activists rely almost exclusively on refugee testimony collected in border areas.As a result, the information obtained TERI L. CARAWAY 287 Table 2 Aspects of Domestic Political Context Affecting Transational Activism in Burma, India, and Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia Burma (Suharto) (post-Suharto) India Level of violations High High Medium Low Access to domestic institutions Low Low Medium High Availability of local partners Low Medium High High Ability to move people and information Low High High High rapidly across borders 288 Table3 TransnationalLaborActivisminBurma,Indonesia,andIndia,1988-2004 Indonesia TypeofActivismBurmaSuharto(untilMay1998)Post-SuhartoIndia DynamiccampaignTargetedcampaignsagainstTargetedcampaignsagainstTargetedcampaignswitha corporations,partneredcorporations,partneredwithfocusonmarginalizedgroups withNGOsNGOsandtradeunionsintheunorganizedsector, partneredwithNGOs andtradeunions NGOsformedmonitoringgroupMonitoringinvolvingunions,Monitoringinvolvingunions, butdidnotconductNGOs,andindividualNGOs,andindividual monitoringactivistsactivists InstitutionbuildingUniondevelopment,butonlyUniondevelopmentwithUniondevelopmentwith withstate-backedunionmultipleunionsmultipleunionsand increasedemphasison mostvulnerableworkers Narrowlytargeted/CampaignstofreeCampaignstofreeCampaignstofree blockedpartnersimprisonedlaboractivistsimprisonedlaboractivistsimprisonedlaboractivists ATCAlawsuitforforced labor Broadlytargeted/Boycottofallcorporations blockedpartnersdoingbusinessinthecountry Narrowlytargeted/GSP(EuropeandGSP(UnitedStates) insensitivetoblockageUnitedStates) Broadlytargeted/ILOcomplaintsfiledbyILOcomplaintsfiledbyILOcomplaintsfiledbyILOcomplaints,usuallyfiled insensitivetoblockageinternationaltradeunionsandinternationalunionsonbehalfinternationalandlegalbyIndianunions;complaints focusedonlegalconstraintsofillegalIndonesianunionsIndonesianunions;complaintsfocusedonenforcementand (SBSI);complaintsfocusedfocusedonenforcementmarginalizedworkers onlegalconstraints is often many months old. Transnational activists have instead resorted to another tactic, a total boycott of all products made in Burma (see the section on the broadly targeted/blocked partners type of activism, below). In Indonesia both before and after the fall of Suharto, in contrast, labor rights NGOs on the ground rapidly gath- ered extensive incriminating evidence about abuses for allies overseas. Since 1998, moreover, unions are actively engaging in these campaigns as well. Similarly, the numerous unions and the multitude of local NGOs working on human and labor rights issues have made targeted campaigns an attractive option in India. The main difference between India and Indonesia is the foci of the campaigns. Given the rel- atively good labor rights situation in the organized sector in India, campaigns tend to highlight the fate of marginalized workers. Campaigns have focused over- whelmingly on two issues--child and bonded labor. In recent years, the increase in garment exports from India has led some NGOs and unions to target workers in export processing zones for campaigns as well. In the mid-1990s, monitoring emerged as a new type of transnational labor activism. As corporations adopted codes of conduct in response to pressure from the anti-sweatshop movement, some activists began to promote monitoring as a way to hold corporations accountable for implementing the codes. Monitoring has been used in areas such as child labor that are notoriously difficult to regu- late as well. Not all factory monitoring qualifies as activism, as much of it is per- formed on a for-profit basis; at a minimum, activist monitoring schemes must involve local unions and/or labor rights NGOs, since without the assistance of these groups it is impossible to obtain credible input from workers about condi- tions in the workplace. A multitude of models have emerged, and the best known are the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Social Accountability International (SAI), Rugmark, the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), and the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC).43 Some of these schemes, such as the FLA and SAI, subcontract the monitoring to accredited monitors, and most of these accredited monitors are run on a for-profit basis.44 With the exception of Rugmark,45 the initiative for the formation of all of these monitoring schemes came from northern countries, so intense efforts have been required to establish connections with local partners, to train them so that they have the required tech- nical skills, and to inform workers about codes of conduct and the means of lodg- ing complaints. No monitoring has taken place in Burma, which is partially due to the effec- tiveness of the Burma boycott. In this case it is necessary for the analysis to pro- ceed counterfactually--if there was not a boycott, could activist monitoring be conducted? Assuming that the government would allow monitors entry--a big assumption--the absence of local groups with which to partner and the fear that the Burmese who assist them could be punished would make it risky to pursue the endeavor.46 In Indonesia no monitoring activity occurred before Suharto fell, largely because it did not emerge as a tactic until the mid-1990s, shortly before TERI L. CARAWAY 289 the fall of Suharto. Indonesians, however, were aware of monitoring efforts in Central America, and shortly before the fall of Suharto, Indonesian labor NGOs formed a monitoring group, although they never conducted any monitoring because manufacturers refused to work with them.47 After the fall of Suharto, a flurry of activities related to monitoring occurred. The greater openness has allowed for the participation of independent unions in monitoring efforts and has created the political space for monitors to conduct investigations of factories without fearing for their safety (or being thrown out of the country).48 A number of NGOs involved with monitoring have provided training for Indonesian NGOs and unions, and the WRC has conducted numerous investigations since 2002. The FWF is carrying out a pilot monitoring project, and SAI has conducted its study circle program. Both the FLA and SAI have carried out monitoring. Monitoring activities in India have been similar to those in Indonesia since the fall of Suharto. The FWF has conducted a workshop with unions, employer orga- nizations, and NGOs, and the ETI has carried out three experimental projects (on child labor, homeworkers, and the prawn industry). The Swedish, Swiss, and Dutch CCCs (Clean Clothes Campaign) have carried out pilot monitoring pro- jects; the WRC has conducted an investigation; both the FLA and SAI have per- formed monitoring; and the SAI has held its study circle program. In May 2004, the WRC reached a unique agreement with a factory in Bangalore in which man- agement agreed to allow two local NGOs to conduct regular unannounced audits on the factory premises. Institution Building Like dynamic campaigns, institution building also requires intense collabora- tion with local partners; however, it is not as dependent on the speedy circulation of people and information across borders, as the goal is to build institutions in the targeted country rather than to mobilize information for an international cam- paign. The main tactic used by labor activists for institution building is union development activism. Union development focuses on creating a more powerful labor movement through providing unions with support for training, operational expenses, and organizing drives. The main actors in this arena are the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS),49 Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES),50 the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and its global union federations (GUFs), the World Confederation of Labor (WCL) and its GUFs, and national unions from wealthy countries. Since this type of activism is not linked to particular violations, it is viable at a range of levels of openness, but in closed polities union development efforts are often impeded by the absence of independent unions. In such circumstances, union development activism is possible if organizations are willing to work with state-backed unions, although 290 POLITICS & SOCIETY under these circumstances they risk compromising the goal of strengthening unions and empowering the labor movement. The absence of unions in Burma since 1988 has hampered union development efforts, and none of the union development organizations have offices there. All union development activism takes place overseas or in border areas, and much of this work is dedicated to organizing Burmese migrants in Thailand. In contrast, in Indonesia under Suharto, some union development activities were possible if organizations were willing to work with the state-backed union, SPSI. Since for- eign groups needed sponsorship from SPSI, all union development groups were required to work exclusively with them. When Jeff Ballinger, the AFL-CIO rep- resentative from 1988 to 1992, publicly distanced the organization from SPSI, he was expelled from Indonesia.51 Although Ballinger's successors continued to work with SPSI, they covertly channeled small amounts of money to an inde- pendent union, SBSI, but they limited the assistance in order to avoid detection by state authorities.52 Operating in Suharto's Indonesia thus involved some com- promises that affected the quality of the union development work. After the fall of Suharto, ACILS ceased all cooperation with SPSI, and orga- nizations involved with union development began to conduct programs with a variety of unions.53 The European Union, as well as trade unions from Europe, also entered the fray.54 Some labor rights NGOs from overseas have also assisted in organizing efforts by funding small independent unions. The international union confederations and their GUFs, which largely shunned Indonesia during the Suharto years, also became very active, and many Indonesian unions are now affiliated with them.55 Since Indian unions are well established and independent, most have been affiliated with an international trade union confederation for many years. A vari- ety of foreign organizations have conducted programs with the major Indian trade union confederations, but in recent years they have expanded activities that target the most vulnerable workers. Union development organizations have chan- neled significant assistance to the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), which concentrates on organizing women in the informal sector,56 and have launched programs in the areas of HIV/AIDS, sexual harassment, child labor, core labor standards, and the export processing zones.57 Narrowly Targeted/Blocked Partners While cooperation with local partners was a vital component of the first two types of activism, dynamic campaigns and institution building, such collabora- tion is not crucial in the remaining four types of activism. These four types of activism are distinguished by two factors, the breadth of the violations that they target and the sensitivity to access to domestic political institutions. The narrowly TERI L. CARAWAY 291 targeted/blocked partner type of activism targets a narrow range of violations and is difficult to mount where citizens can effectively address grievances through domestic political institutions. It is thus unlikely to appear in relatively open political contexts and is best suited to relatively closed contexts, although depend- ing on the mesh between the violation that a tactic targets and the types of abuses that occur in a country, some tactics can also be deployed at mid-levels of openness. Two tactics emerged in the cases in this category, lawsuits under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and campaigns for imprisoned or murdered labor activists. The U.S. Congress passed the ATCA in 1789 in order to protect the new nation's international reputation by allowing noncitizens to use federal courts to hold Americans accountable for violations of international law. Human rights organizations uncovered the law in the 1980s and used it to prosecute Latin American military officers residing in the United States who were sus- pected of involvement in torture and extrajudicial killings in their native coun- tries. In 1996, human rights activists began to use the ATCA to sue corporations that knowingly participated in violations of the "law of nations." Federal courts have understood these violations to cover a limited set of offenses, including genocide, war crimes, extrajudicial killing, slavery, torture, unlawful detention, and crimes against humanity.58 A number of ATCA cases have centered on forced labor and the torture and extrajudicial killings of trade unionists. Citizens of other countries affected by violations of the law of nations by U.S. corpora- tions can file ATCA claims in U.S. courts. Violations of the law of nations are more likely to occur in relatively closed political systems, and since lawsuits can be filed even when there are few local partners in the country where the corporation committed the violations, the ATCA can be used to target even the most closed political systems. While there is a diminished likelihood of violations of the law of nations in relatively open political systems, ATCA claims are also unlikely to be filed against corporations doing business in these countries because U.S. courts must be convinced that the claimant cannot get a fair hearing in the country where the violation occurred, which is doubtful in countries that have credible courts.59 The International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) filed the first labor rights ATCA claim in 1996 against Unocal on behalf of Burmese citizens who claimed they were forced to perform labor on the Yadana Gas Pipeline Project, a joint venture between Unocal and the Burmese government. The Burmese court's lack of cred- ibility and the unassailable nature of the charges made this an ideal test case.60 There were no ATCA cases filed against U.S. corporations doing business in Indonesia during Suharto's rule, largely because this tactic emerged shortly before he resigned. Since Suharto's fall, there have been no ATCA claims against U.S. corporations for labor rights violations in Indonesia, although the ILRF filed an 292 POLITICS & SOCIETY ATCA claim against Exxon for its involvement in human rights violations in Aceh, Indonesia, in 2001. A labor rights lawsuit remains possible, however, since the courts are notoriously corrupt and unlawful detentions of trade unionists orga- nizing in U.S. multinationals persists, and the ILRF is considering filing a labor rights ATCA claim.61 No ATCA lawsuits have been filed against India for labor rights abuses, although victims of Bhopal tried to mount a case against Union Carbide. The case was ultimately dismissed as victims had already secured com- pensation through the Indian courts. The ILRF is considering filing an ATCA law- suit against U.S. corporations in the carpet and cotton industries for the use of forced child labor.62 The case will be difficult to make, however, given the ruling in the Union Carbide case. Solidarity campaigns to free imprisoned labor leaders and to investigate the deaths of labor activists are also a common tactic deployed by labor activists. In Burma and Suharto's Indonesia, transnational activists took up the cases of a number of arrested or murdered labor activists.63 With the opening of the polit- ical system after the fall of Suharto, national labor leaders had more room to maneuver, and none have been arrested or murdered. Lower level activists, how- ever, continue to face arbitrary arrest, and some of these cases have captured international attention.64 While there have been numerous murders of labor activists and leaders in India, none have received sustained attention from transnational activists.65 Part of the reason for this is that India's judicial system eventually brings many of the perpetrators to justice. For example, Shankar Guha Niyogi, a human rights activist and labor leader, was shot while he slept in 1991. India's glacial judicial system eventually convicted six people for the murder in 1997. Similarly, when Datta Samant, the infamous leader of a Bombay union, was assassinated in 1997, his murderers were sentenced to life imprison- ment in 2000. In relatively open polities such as India with judicial systems that provide an avenue for redress, domestic activists are less likely to appeal abroad for help and activists from overseas are unlikely to expend limited resources on such cases. Narrowly Targeted/Insensitive to Blockage The narrowly targeted/insensitive to blockage type of activism also targets a narrow range of violations, but it is relatively insensitive to the capacity of local actors to address grievances through domestic political institutions. Like the narrowly targeted/blocked partners type of activism, the capacity to deploy par- ticular tactics depends on the fit between the violations it targets and the abuses that occur in a country. Holding the violation committed constant, narrowly tar- geted/insensitive to blockage tactics can be used in a wider range of levels of openness because they can be deployed even when domestic actors have access TERI L. CARAWAY 293 to domestic institutions. Labor-related social clauses are the most frequently used tactic in this type of activism. Social clauses in trade agreements allow activists to use trade law in one coun- try to target labor rights abuses in another country. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, U.S. activists frequently filed petitions under the labor-related social clause in the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Under GSP, the exports of selected items from industrializing nations can enter the United States duty free provided that the exporting country respects internationally recognized labor rights. Interested parties that believe labor rights are being violated in a country receiving GSP privileges may file a petition with the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), which initiates an evaluation process that can result in the revocation of GSP privileges. In the first decade after its adoption, over 200 petitions were filed against almost 50 countries.66 Although the range of rights covered in the U.S. GSP social clause is broad, it is essential for activists to demonstrate persuasively that the state is involved in committing the violations.67 U.S. GSP is therefore dif- ficult to use in cases where states are not enforcing existing labor law which sig- nificantly narrows the scope of the violations for which GSP petitions can be mounted.68 In 1994, the European Union (EU) introduced a social clause into its GSP system that allowed privileges to be withdrawn for countries using forced labor; some regional trade agreements also incorporate labor rights clauses.69 Activists have filed GSP petitions against Burma in both the United States and the EU. American activists filed a petition against Burma in 1988, and in 1997 the ICFTU and the European Trade Union Confederation led an effort to have Burma's EU GSP privileges withdrawn as a result of the regime's penchant for using forced labor.70 The pitiful state of labor rights in Suharto's Indonesia also led the AFL-CIO, Human Rights Watch, and the ILRF to file seven peti- tions between 1987 and 1995 with the USTR.71 With the improvement in the labor rights situation after Suharto's demise, no additional petitions were filed. The absence of additional petitions is partially due to a change in the GSP law in 1995,72 but it is also a consequence of the changed domestic environment in Indonesia. The government's recognition of freedom of association and the suc- cessful registration of many trade unions diminished the utility of GSP petitions for addressing labor rights abuses in Indonesia, as the state's involvement in these violations had declined.73 In India, the strong labor rights in the organized sector and the need to demonstrate government involvement in labor rights vio- lations have made it an unlikely target for GSP petitions. The ILRF considered filing a petition before 1995 due to the widespread use of child labor, but it decided not to go forward because local groups were unenthusiastic. Such a petition on the grounds of child and forced labor might be feasible, but it would be a tough case since these abuses are committed by private rather than public actors.74 294 POLITICS & SOCIETY Broadly Targeted/Blocked Partners The broadly targeted/blocked partners type of activism targets a wide range of violations and is sensitive to the capacity of local actors to address concerns through local political institutions. It is thus best suited to relatively closed polit- ical systems. The national boycott is the only tactic that emerged in the cases that falls into the broadly targeted/blocked partners type of activism. It occurred only in Burma, where a coalition of trade unions and human rights and labor NGOs mounted a boycott against all products from Burma and of all companies doing business in Burma, based on the premise that all investment in Burma supports the oppressive regime and hence contributes to labor and human rights violations. The ICFTU, with the help of the FTUB, has compiled a database of corporations doing business in Burma and has pressured these companies to pull out. American activists have pushed through selective purchasing agreements that prohibit local and state governments from signing contracts with corpora- tions doing business in Burma.75 The boycott is largely due to appeals by Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese opposition. The national boycotts is a far blunter tactic than the targeted campaigns waged in Indonesia and India, but when there are no local groups on the ground to collect information in a timely fashion, cam- paigns must adapt and use methods that are less reliant on the quick exchange of information. Since this tactic has enormous negative effects on the economic health of a country, it is rarely deployed. Although national boycotts are an extreme tactic, other tactics in the broadly targeted/blocked partners category are less so. For example, the ILRF is pio- neering the class-action lawsuit against corporations that commit labor rights violations overseas. The ILRF filed a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart for failing to enforce its code of conduct in its overseas subcontractors. If success- ful, class action lawsuits could be a potent tool for forcing compliance with codes of conduct, which pledge to respect a wide range of worker rights. The ILRF must, however, convince U.S. courts that these workers cannot gain redress for their complaint through local courts. Broadly Targeted/Insensitive to Blockage The broadly targeted/insensitive to blockage type of activism targets a wide range of violations and can be undertaken even when domestic channels of addressing grievances exist, so it is amenable to both open and closed polities. The most common tactic used is complaints to the ILO, the UN body charged with overseeing global labor standards. The ILO has a tripartite structure in which workers, employers, and national governments are represented. Worker delegates and international trade union confederations can file complaints with the ILO when they deem a country to be in violation of conventions that it has TERI L. CARAWAY 295 ratified or of the conventions on freedom of association and the right to organize. No participation is required from activists or unions in the targeted country, although communication between international trade union bodies with unions and NGOs in the targeted country provides valuable information for the com- plaints. Since the ILO has limited sanctioning capacity, it serves primarily as a forum for international shaming. In relatively closed countries, complaints focus on violence against trade unionists and laws that violate international labor stan- dards and are usually filed by international unions, while in intermediate and open polities, the emphasis shifts to enforcement of laws and more complaints are filed by national rather than international unions. Since Burma had no independent trade union representatives at the ILO, inter- national trade union confederations and worker representatives from other coun- tries have filed all complaints.76 The ICFTU, working closely with the FTUB, has repeatedly raised the issue of Burma's use of forced labor and violation of free- dom of association. The ILO criticized provisions in Burmese law that allowed the state to conscript labor and to restrict the formation of unions. Burma's vio- lations of the forced labor convention were so egregious that the ILO convened the tenth Commission of Inquiry in its history in March 1997 to address the issue.77 As with Burma, international union confederations filed all complaints against Indonesia during the Suharto years. The most persistent and strongest pressure was regarding violations of freedom of association and the right to orga- nize. Less than a month after Suharto stepped down, Indonesia ratified the free- dom of association convention, and soon afterwards the government invited the ILO to set up a Direct Contact Mission to assist with bringing labor laws into compliance with international labor standards. Indonesia's laws are now largely in accord with international labor standards, but international trade union con- federations have continued to file complaints with various committees in the ILO. Whereas previously the complaints focused on legal restrictions on freedom of association and the right to organize, recent cases have concentrated on the lack of enforcement of the new laws. In addition, Indonesian unions have begun to initiate their own complaints. In India, ILO observations are concentrated around conventions that affect marginalized workers--child labor, bonded labor, and gender discrimination. Freedom of association complaints are also numer- ous, but, in contrast to Indonesia, the vast majority of complaints are filed by national rather than international unions. As in post-Suharto Indonesia, the com- plaints are concentrated on enforcement issues. VI. CONCLUSION This article argues that the level of political openness has distinct effects on different types of activism through its impact on the probability that states will commit violations, the capacity of local activists to redress grievances through 296 POLITICS & SOCIETY domestic institutions, the presence of domestic actors who can mobilize and partner with transnational activists, and the ability of people and information to circulate rapidly across borders. Different types of activism vary in their depen- dence on these aspects of the domestic political context. Consequently, some types of activism have an elective affinity with closed polities, and others with relatively open polities, while yet others are amenable to deployment at multiple levels of openness. This article has not only developed a classification of differ- ent types of activism but has also identified a means of assessing a country's level of political openness, which allows scholars to deduce the fit between tac- tics and national contexts. The empirical case studies also showed that the domestic context has important consequences for the form and the quality of activism. For example, although ILO complaints can be filed against countries regardless of the level of openness, the nature of the complaints and who files them change dramatically. Similarly, union development activism in Suharto's Indonesia was less effective since for- eign organizations could not legally work with independent unions. Likewise, although dynamic campaigns took place in both Suharto and post-Suharto Indonesia, under Suharto transnational activists could only work with NGOs, but after 1998 they could work not only with local NGOs but also with newly established independent unions. Thus, even within types of activism that occur across levels of political openness, subtle differences exist that are intimately related to the domestic political context. Given that this article focused on transnational labor activism, two types of future research would be useful in assessing the relevance of this study for other issue areas. First, cross-national comparative studies similar to this study but that examine other issue areas, such as human rights, the environment, or women's rights, could confirm (or disconfirm) the validity of the argument offered for labor activism and contribute to a better understanding of how different issue areas depend (more or less) on particular levels of political openness. Different issue areas might show less sensitivity to variations in political openness, although I anticipate that the general thrust of my argument will hold. Activism in all issue areas relies on an array of types of activism which are in turn likely to be affected by the level of openness. A second way to explore these issues would be through single-country studies that examine an assortment of types of activism across dif- ferent issue areas. These studies would hold the domestic context constant and could thus illuminate more precisely how the types of activism in an array of issue areas are affected by a particular level of political openness. In addition, the methodology of this study, which relied on cross-case and cross-type analysis, has potential implications for those who seek to examine why some transnational activism efforts are more successful than others. Since the level of political openness affects types of activism differently, the domestic context will also have different effects on the success of different kinds of activism. TERI L. CARAWAY 297 For example, since GSP petitions do not depend much on local groups on the ground, domestic factors in the targeted country will be less important in explaining success than for labor rights campaigns. In addition to studies that compare a single type of activism across countries, studies that look at various types of activism within one country are also necessary in order to tease out the causes of successful transnational activism. Factors that are important for the success of one type of activism may not carry much explanatory weight for another type of activism. Another area for further study is how the international opportunity structure and the supply of support from activists from abroad interact with political openness at the domestic level to produce particular patterns of transnational activism. To understand why some countries are more frequently targeted than others and why some transnational efforts are more effective than others requires going beyond an analysis of domestic political opportunity structures. Nevertheless, in devising such studies, variations in domestic context and vari- ations across different types of activism must be taken into account, and find- ings based on either single-country or single types of activism need to be qualified accordingly. Ideally, research that investigates the interaction of domestic and international opportunity structures would include countries with different levels of openness and an array of types of activism. These proposed avenues of inquiry are a departure from most research on transnational activism, and this article is meant to be a partial corrective to much of the focus of current scholarship. Since current research tends to highlight campaigns that target international institutions, scholars often overlook the multiple ways that the domestic political context shapes the types of transnational activism that take place. Similarly, the concentration on particular campaigns or issues has resulted in an incomplete and often contradictory understanding of how domestic politics shape transnational activism. The focus on international bodies or particular campaigns rather than countries is part of the reason that research on transnational activism has produced contrary findings about how and why the domestic context matters. A wider gaze that incorporates a variety of types of activism that target violations within nation-states demonstrates that the apparent contradiction is largely a result of how scholars have studied transnational activism. In other words, a more explicitly comparative approach to studies of transnational activism is needed. NOTES 1. Jackie Smith, Ron Pagnucco, and Charles Chatfield, "Social Movements and World Politics:A Theoretical Framework," in Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity Beyond the State, ed. Jackie Smith, Charles Chatfield, and Ron Pagnucco (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1997), 68. 2. Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998). 298 POLITICS & SOCIETY 3. Sanjeev Khagram, "Restructuring the Global Politics of Development: The Case of India's Narmada Valley Dams," in Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms, ed. Sanjeev Khagram, James V. Riker, and Kathryn Sikkink (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), 206-30; and Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink, eds., The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999). 4. Donatella della Porta and Hanspeter Kriesi, "Social Movements in a Globalizing World: An Introduction," in Social Movements in a Globalizing World, ed. Donatella della Porta and Hanspeter Kriesi (New York: St. Martin's, 1999), 3-22; Keck and Sikkink, Activists beyond Borders; Kathryn Sikkink, "Patterns of Dynamic Multilevel Governance and the Insider-Outsider Coalition," in Transnational Activism between the Local and the Global, ed. Donatella della Porta and Sidney Tarrow (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 151-73; and Jackie Smith, "Characteristics of the Modern Transnational Social Movement Sector," in Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity Beyond the State, ed. Jackie Smith, Charles Chatfield, and Ron Pagnucco (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1997), 42-58. 5. Sidney Tarrow, The New Transnational Activism (NewYork: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 6. Thomas Risse and Stephen C. Ropp, "International Human Rights Norms and Domestic Change: Conclusions," in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 234-78. 7. Gay W. Seidman, "Adjusting the Lens: What Do Globalizations, Transnationalism, and the Anti-Apartheid Movement Mean for Social Movement Theory?" in Globalizations and Social Movements: Culture, Power, and the Transnational Public Sphere, ed. John A. Guidry, Michael D. Kennedy, and Mayer Zald (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), 347. 8. Sieglinde Granzer, "Changing Discourse: Transnational Advocacy Networks in Tunisia and Morocco," in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 109-33; Khagram, "Restructuring the Global Politics of Develop- ment"; and Peter Uvin, "From Local Organizations to Global Governance: The Role of NGOs in International Relations," in Global Institutions and Local Empowerment: Competing Theoretical Perspectives, ed. Kendall Stiles (NewYork: St. Martin's, 2000), 9-29. 9. Mark Anner, "Local and Transnational Campaigns to End Sweatshop Practices," in Transnational Cooperation among Unions, ed. Michael E. Gordon and Lowell Turner (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000), 238-55; Margaret E. Keck, "Social Equity and Environmental Politics in Brazil: Lessons from the Rubber Tappers of Acre," Comparative Politics 27, no. 4 (1995): 409-24; Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, "International Norms and Domestic Politics in Chile and Guatemala," in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 172-204; Hans-Peter Schmitz, "Transnational Activism and Political Change in Kenya and Uganda," in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 39-77; and Heather L. Williams, "Mobile Capital and Transborder Labor Rights Mobilization," Politics & Society 27, no. 1 (1999): 139-66. 10. RalphArmbruster, "Globalization and Cross-Border Labor Organizing in the Garment and Automobile Industries" (PhD diss., University of California, Riverside, 1998). TERI L. CARAWAY 299 11. Schmitz, "Transnational Activism and Political Change in Kenya and Uganda." 12. Thomas Carothers, "The End of the Transition Paradigm," Journal of Democracy 13, no. 1 (2002): 5-21; Larry Diamond, "Thinking about Hybrid Regimes," Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 21-35; Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, "The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism," Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 52-65; Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, "Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War," International Organization 56, no. 2 (2002): 297-337; Guillermo O'Donnell, "Delegative Democracy," Journal of Democracy 5, no. 1 (1994): 55-69; Andreas Schedler, "The Menu of Manipulation," Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 36-50; Nicolas van de Walle, "Africa's Range of Regimes," Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 66-80; and Fareed Zakaria, "The Rise of Illiberal Democracy," Foreign Affairs 76, no. 6 (1997): 22-43. 13. Carothers, "The End of the Transition Paradigm." 14. Sikkink, "Patterns of Dynamic Multilevel Governance." 15. David S. Meyer and Debra C. Minkoff, "Conceptualizing Political Opportunity," Social Forces 82, no. 4 (2004): 1457-92. 16. Diamond, "Thinking about Hybrid Regimes." Freedom House ratings are avail- able at http://www.freedomhouse.org/ratings/allscore04.xls (accessed July 16, 2004). 17. For general background on human rights violations in Burma, see Human Rights Watch, World Reports (New York: Human Rights Watch, various years). 18. U.S. Department of State, "Burma: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2003," http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27765.htm (accessed June 14, 2004). 19. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, "Burma: Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights, 2002," http:/www.icftu.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 20. U.S. Department of State, "Burma." 21. Ibid. 22. Rachel Schairer-Vertannes, "The Politics of Human Rights: How the World Has Failed Burma," Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 2, no. 2 (2001): 77-118. 23. U.S. Department of State, "Burma." 24. Zunetta Liddell, "No Room to Move: Legal Constraints on Civil Society in Burma," in Strengthening Civil Society in Burma: Possibilities and Dilemmas for International NGOs, ed. Burma Center Netherlands and Transnational Institute (Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books, 1999), 54-69. 25. U.S. Department of State, "Burma." 26. Liddell, "No Room to Move." 27. For general overviews of the human rights situation in Indonesia, see Human Rights Watch, World Reports, various years. 28. David Bourchier, "Solidarity: The New Order's First Free Trade Union," in Indonesia's Emerging Proletariat: Workers and Their Struggles, ed. David Bourchier (Clayton, Australia: Monash University Press, 1994), 52-63; Vedi Hadiz, Workers and the State in New Order Indonesia (New York: Routledge, 1997); and Rob Lambert, "Authoritarian State Unionism in New Order Indonesia," Asia Research Centre Working Paper no. 25 (Perth, Australia: Murdoch University, 1993). 29. Philip J. Eldridge, Non-Government Organizations and Democratic Participation in Indonesia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). 30. Ibid.; Michele Ford, "NGO as Outside Intellectual: An Indonesian Case Study of Non-governmental Organizations' Involvement in the Labor Movement" (PhD diss., University of Wollongong, Australia, 2003); and Sidney Jones, "Structural Adjustment and Democratization: The Case of Human Rights Organizations in Indonesia," in Economic 300 POLITICS & SOCIETY Liberalization, Democratization and Civil Society in the Developing World, ed. Remonda Bensabat Kleinberg and Janine A. Clark (New York: St. Martin's, 2000), 25-43. 31. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, "Internationally-Recognized Core Labor Standards in Indonesia: Report for the WTO General Council Review of Trade Policies of Indonesia, 2003," http://www.icftu.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 32. U.S. Department of State, "Indonesia: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (VariousYears)," http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/ (accessed June 14, 2004). 33. Ismeilia Suardi and Nicholas Redfearn, "Why Indonesia Lags Behind in Internet Law," Managing Intellectual Property 125 (December/January 2002/2003): 31-35. 34. Christopher Candland, "The Cost of Incorporation: Labor Institutions, Industrial Restructuring, and New Trade Union Strategies in India and Pakistan," in The Politics of Labor in a Global Age, ed. Christopher Candland and Rudra Sil (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 69-94. 35. CS Venkata Ratnam, "NGOs and Trade Unions," in Trade Union Challenges at the Beginning of the 21st Century, ed. CS Venkata Ratnam and Pravin Sinha (New Delhi: Excel Books, 2000), 164-205. 36. Patrick Heller, "Degrees of Democracy: Some Comparative Lessons from India," World Politics 52, no. 4 (2000): 484-519. 37. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, "Internationally-Recognized Core Labor Standards in India: Report for the WTO General Council Review of Trade Policies in India, 2002," http://www.icftu.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 38. U.S. Department of State, "India: Country Report on Human Rights Practices (Various Years)," http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/ (accessed June 14, 2004). 39. Ibid. 40. Peter Wolcott and Seymour Goodman, "India: Is the Elephant Learning to Dance?" Communications of the Association for Information Systems 11 (2003): 560-646. 41. Unless otherwise noted, assessments in these cases rely on publicly available infor- mation on theWeb sites of the following organizations: theAmerican Center for International Labor Solidarity, Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, the Asian Monitor Resource Center, Behind the Label, the Clean Clothes Campaign, Campaign for Labor Rights, the Child Labor Coalition, the Commonwealth Trade Union Council, the Ethical Trading Initiative, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Fair Wear Foundation, the Fair Labor Association, the Free Burma Coalition, the Free Trade Union of Burma, Global Exchange, the Global March against Child Labor, Human Rights Watch, the International Initiative to End Child Labor, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the International Labor Rights Fund, the India Committee of the Netherlands, the Japan International Labor Foundation, the Maquila Solidarity Network, the National Labor Committee, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, Rugmark, Social Accountability International, Save the Children, SOMO, Sweatshop Watch, Tie-Asia, War on Want, the Workers'Rights Consortium, and the World Confederation of Labor. 42. Anner, "Local and Transnational Campaigns to End Sweatshop Practices"; Ralph Armbruster, "Cross-Border Labor Organizing in the Garment and Automobile Industries: The Phillips Van-Heusen and Ford Cuautitlan Cases," Journal of World-Systems Research 4, no. 1 (1998): http://jwsr.ucr.edu/archive/vol4/v4n1a3.php (accessed October 10, 2005); and Henry J. Frundt, "Models of Cross-Border Organizing in Maquila Industries," Critical Sociology 26, nos. 1/2 (2000): 36-55. 43. For useful overviews of these different schemes, see Dara O'Rourke, "Outsourcing Regulation: Analyzing Nongovernmental Systems of Labor Standards and Monitoring," Policy Studies Journal 31, no. 1 (2003): 1-29; and Ingeborg Wick, Workers'Tool or PR Ploy? TERI L. CARAWAY 301 A Guide to Codes of International Labor Practices (Bonn: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Südwind Insitute für Ökonomie und Ökumene, 2003). I have excluded Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production since no actors that can credibly be called activists participate. 44. The FLA requires monitors to consult with local NGOs, and it has accredited some southern NGOs. The WRC includes members of southern NGOs in its investiga- tion teams, works closely with local unions, and conducts extensive interviews of work- ers away from the factory premises. The ETI and FWF have incorporated both local unions and NGOs into their pilot projects. SAI has only accredited for-profits based in northern countries as monitors, but it encourages southern activists to enroll in SAI audi- tor training courses. These courses are expensive, however, and in response to criticism, SAI has collaborated with the International Textile, Garment and Leatherworkers' Federation on a study circle program for workers in twelve countries. Much of the criti- cism of SAI stems from its certification of facilities in China, where there are no inde- pendent unions. See Maquila Solidarity Network, "Codes Memo No. 13" http://www .maquilasolidarity.org/resources/codes/memo13.htm (accessed June 18, 2004). 45. Geeta Chowdhry, "Challenging Child Labor: Transnational Activism and India's Carpet Industry," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 575 (May 2001): 158-75. 46. Author's interview with Agatha Schmaedick, telephone, June 2004. 47. Author's interviews with Bama Athreya, telephone, March 2002; and Jeff Ballinger, telephone, August 2001. 48. Author's interviews with Maria Roeper, telephone, March 2002; and Agatha Schmaedick, telephone, June 2004. 49. ACILS is an NGO, but it reports to the international affairs division of the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO operated regional organizations until 1995, when it consolidated them into ACILS. Kim Moody, Workers in a Lean World: Unions in the International Economy (NewYork: Verson, 1997). It is debatable whether all of the activities carried out by these organizations qualify as activism. The AFL-CIO's activities in particular have met with much criticism. During the Cold War, it often supported the United States' Cold War agenda, which involved suppressing left-oriented movements and the emergence of a labor-based opposition to U.S. allies. See Tom Barry and Deb Preusch, AIFLD in Central America: Agents as Organizers (Albuquerque: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1990); Jack Scott, Yankee Unions, Go Home! How the AFL Helped the U.S. Build an Empire in Latin America (Vancouver: New Star, 1978); and Beth Sims, Workers of the World Undermined: American Labor's Role in U.S. Foreign Policy (Boston: South End, 1992). 50. FES is a German NGO linked to the Social Democrats. 51. Author's interview with Jeff Ballinger, telephone, August 2001. 52. Author's interview with Muchtar Pakpahan, Jakarta, July 2001. 53. Author's interview with Rudy Porter, Jakarta, July 2002; and Ridwan, Jakarta, July 2002. 54. Author's interview with Rekson, Jakarta, July 2002. 55. Author's interview with Rustam, Jakarta, July 2002; Rekson, Jakarta, July 2002; and Hemasari, telephone, July 2002. 56. In 1999-2002, SEWA received almost $500,000 from the Danish trade union development organization alone, which is a huge amount for union development projects. 57. Author's interview with Charito Riley, telephone, June 2004. 302 POLITICS & SOCIETY 58. Terry Collingsworth, "The Alien Tort Claims Act: A Vital Tool for Preventing Corporations from Violating Fundamental Human Rights," http://www.laborrights.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 59. Marisa Anne Pagnattaro, "Enforcing International Labor Standards: The Potential of the Alien Tort Claims Act," Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 37, no. 1 (2004): 203-63. 60. Author's interview with Terry Collingsworth, telephone, July 23, 2004. In December 2004, Unocal agreed to settle the case out of court. 61. Author's interview with Wuaya Kawilarang, Samarinda, July 2003; and interview with Terry Collingsworth. 62. Author's interview with Terry Collingsworth. 63. The best-known cases in Burma are U Myo Aung Thant, U Kyin Kyaw, and U Saw Mya Than. In Indonesia, major campaigns championed the cases of Muchtar Pakpahan, Dita Sari, and Marsinah. 64. The arrests of Wuaya Kawilarang and Ngadinah captured the most international attention. 65. I identified names from the annual human rights reports of the U.S. State Department, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, as well as the ICFTU's annual reports, and then conducted searches on the Internet and on Lexis-Nexis to deter- mine whether these cases captured international attention. I found no cases of long-term arrests of labor activists. 66. Kimberly Ann Elliott, Can Labor Standards Improve under Globalization? (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 2003). 67. Author's interview with Pharis Harvey, telephone, March 2002. 68. If U.S. GSP provisions were broadly construed to cover enforcement, then it would fall under the broadly targeted/insensitive to blockage type of activism. 69. Both petitions were successful. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Trade and Core Labor Standards (Paris: OECD, 2000). 70. Ibid. 71. Indonesia's GSP privileges were never withdrawn, but the case was eventually accepted for review, and its labor practices were subjected to intense scrutiny by the United States. Marlies Glasius, Foreign Policy on Human Rights: Its Influence on Indonesia under Suharto (Antwerp, Belgium: Intersentia-Hart, 1999). 72. Congress revised the law to limit extensions of reviews beyond the annual process to one year, which made it almost impossible for the USTR to launch a full-fledged inves- tigation and to work with the country to improve labor practices before the petition expired. Author's interview with Pharis Harvey. Nevertheless, the AFL-CIO and the ILRF have ini- tiated petitions against Belarus, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Swaziland, and Ukraine. 73. Author's interview with Pharis Harvey. Indonesia is not a good target for an EU GSP petition since forced labor is not one of the most pressing labor rights issues there. 74. Indian unions were suspicious of American organizations during and soon after the Cold War, and child labor activists feared that a GSP petition would backfire. Author's interview with Terry Collingsworth. 75. Terrence Guay, "Local Government and Global Politics: The Implications of Massachusetts' 'Burma Law'," Political Science Quarterly 115, no. 3 (2000): 353-76. TERI L. CARAWAY 303 76. ILO documents are available online in the ILOLEX database, http://www.ilo.org/ ilolex/english/ (accessed June 14, 2004). 77. In 1999, Burma was virtually expelled from the ILO as a result of its use of forced labor. Teri L. Caraway (caraway@polisci.umn.edu) is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Her research focuses on gender and comparative politics and comparative labor politics. Her work has appeared in Comparative Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Politics & Gender, and The Review of International Political Economy. She has recently completed a book manuscript titled Assembling Women for Development. 304 POLITICS & SOCIETY 1. Jackie Smith, Ron Pagnucco, and Charles Chatfield, “Social Movements and World Politics:A Theoretical Framework,” in Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity Beyond the State , ed. Jackie Smith, Charles Chatfield, and Ron Pagnucco (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1997), 68. 2. Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998). 3. Sanjeev Khagram, “Restructuring the Global Politics of Development: The Case of India's Narmada Valley Dams,” in Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms , ed. Sanjeev Khagram, James V. Riker, and Kathryn Sikkink (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), 206-30; and Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink, eds., The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999). 4. Donatella della Porta and Hanspeter Kriesi, “Social Movements in a Globalizing World: An Introduction,” in Social Movements in a Globalizing World , ed. Donatella della Porta and Hanspeter Kriesi (New York: St. Martin's, 1999), 3-22; Keck and Sikkink, Activists beyond Borders; Kathryn Sikkink, “Patterns of Dynamic Multilevel Governance and the Insider-Outsider Coalition,” in Transnational Activism between the Local and the Global , ed. Donatella della Porta and Sidney Tarrow (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 151-73; and Jackie Smith, “Characteristics of the Modern Transnational Social Movement Sector,” in Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity Beyond the State , ed. Jackie Smith, Charles Chatfield, and Ron Pagnucco (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1997), 42-58. 5. Sidney Tarrow, The New Transnational Activism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 6. Thomas Risse and Stephen C. Ropp, “International Human Rights Norms and Domestic Change: Conclusions,” in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change , ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 234-78. 7. Gay W. Seidman, “Adjusting the Lens: What Do Globalizations, Transnationalism, and the Anti-Apartheid Movement Mean for Social Movement Theory?” in Globalizations and Social Movements: Culture, Power, and the Transnational Public Sphere , ed. John A. Guidry, Michael D. Kennedy, and Mayer Zald (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), 347. 8. Sieglinde Granzer, “Changing Discourse: Transnational Advocacy Networks in Tunisia and Morocco,” in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change , ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 109-33; Khagram, “Restructuring the Global Politics of Development”; and Peter Uvin, “From Local Organizations to Global Governance: The Role of NGOs in International Relations,” in Global Institutions and Local Empowerment: Competing Theoretical Perspectives , ed. Kendall Stiles (New York: St. Martin's, 2000), 9-29. 9. Mark Anner, “Local and Transnational Campaigns to End Sweatshop Practices,” in Transnational Cooperation among Unions , ed. Michael E. Gordon and Lowell Turner (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000), 238-55; Margaret E. Keck, “Social Equity and Environmental Politics in Brazil: Lessons from the Rubber Tappers of Acre,” Comparative Politics 27, no. 4 (1995): 409-24; Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, “International Norms and Domestic Politics in Chile and Guatemala,” in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change , ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 172-204; Hans-Peter Schmitz, “Transnational Activism and Political Change in Kenya and Uganda,” in The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change , ed. Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 39-77; and Heather L. Williams, “Mobile Capital and Transborder Labor Rights Mobilization,” Politics & Society 27, no. 1 (1999): 139-66. 10. Ralph Armbruster, “Globalization and Cross-Border Labor Organizing in the Garment and Automobile Industries” (PhD diss., University of California, Riverside, 1998). 11. Schmitz, “Transnational Activism and Political Change in Kenya and Uganda.” 12. Thomas Carothers, “The End of the Transition Paradigm,” Journal of Democracy 13, no. 1 (2002): 5-21; Larry Diamond, “Thinking about Hybrid Regimes,” Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 21-35; Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 52-65; Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War,” International Organization 56, no. 2 (2002): 297-337; Guillermo O'Donnell, “Delegative Democracy,” Journal of Democracy 5, no. 1 (1994): 55-69; Andreas Schedler, “The Menu of Manipulation,” Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 36-50; Nicolas van de Walle, “Africa's Range of Regimes,” Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 66-80; and Fareed Zakaria, “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy,” Foreign Affairs 76, no. 6 (1997): 22-43. 13. Carothers, “The End of the Transition Paradigm.” 14. Sikkink, “Patterns of Dynamic Multilevel Governance.” 15. David S. Meyer and Debra C. Minkoff, “Conceptualizing Political Opportunity,” Social Forces 82, no. 4 (2004): 1457-92. 16. Diamond, “Thinking about Hybrid Regimes.” Freedom House ratings are available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/ratings/allscore04.xls (accessed July 16, 2004). 17. For general background on human rights violations in Burma, see Human Rights Watch, World Reports (New York: Human Rights Watch, various years). 18. U.S. Department of State, “Burma: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2003,” http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27765.htm (accessed June 14, 2004). 19. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, “Burma: Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights, 2002,” http:/www.icftu.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 20. U.S. Department of State, “Burma.” 21. Ibid. 22. Rachel Schairer-Vertannes, “The Politics of Human Rights: How the World Has Failed Burma,” Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 2, no. 2 (2001): 77-118. 23. U.S. Department of State, “Burma.” 24. Zunetta Liddell, “No Room to Move: Legal Constraints on Civil Society in Burma,” in Strengthening Civil Society in Burma: Possibilities and Dilemmas for International NGOs , ed. Burma Center Netherlands and Transnational Institute (Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books, 1999), 54-69. 25. U.S. Department of State, “Burma.” 26. Liddell, “No Room to Move.” 27. For general overviews of the human rights situation in Indonesia, see Human Rights Watch, World Reports , various years. 28. David Bourchier, “Solidarity: The New Order's First Free Trade Union,” in Indonesia's Emerging Proletariat: Workers and Their Struggles , ed. David Bourchier (Clayton, Australia: Monash University Press, 1994), 52-63; Vedi Hadiz, Workers and the State in New Order Indonesia (New York: Routledge, 1997); and Rob Lambert, “Authoritarian State Unionism in New Order Indonesia,” Asia Research Centre Working Paper no. 25 (Perth, Australia: Murdoch University, 1993). 29. Philip J. Eldridge, Non-Government Organizations and Democratic Participation in Indonesia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). 30. Ibid.; Michele Ford, “NGO as Outside Intellectual: An Indonesian Case Study of Non-governmental Organizations’ Involvement in the Labor Movement” (PhD diss., University of Wollongong, Australia, 2003); and Sidney Jones, “Structural Adjustment and Democratization: The Case of Human Rights Organizations in Indonesia,” in Economic Liberalization, Democratization and Civil Society in the Developing World , ed. Remonda Bensabat Kleinberg and Janine A. Clark (New York: St. Martin's, 2000), 25-43. 31. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, “Internationally-Recognized Core Labor Standards in Indonesia: Report for the WTO General Council Review of Trade Policies of Indonesia, 2003,” http://www.icftu.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 32. U.S. Department of State, “Indonesia: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Various Years),” http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/ (accessed June 14, 2004). 33. Ismeilia Suardi and Nicholas Redfearn, “Why Indonesia Lags Behind in Internet Law,” Managing Intellectual Property 125 (December/January 2002/2003): 31-35. 34. Christopher Candland, “The Cost of Incorporation: Labor Institutions, Industrial Restructuring, and New Trade Union Strategies in India and Pakistan,” in The Politics of Labor in a Global Age , ed. Christopher Candland and Rudra Sil (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 69-94. 35. CS Venkata Ratnam, “NGOs and Trade Unions,” in Trade Union Challenges at the Beginning of the 21st Century , ed. CS Venkata Ratnam and Pravin Sinha (New Delhi: Excel Books, 2000), 164-205. 36. Patrick Heller, “Degrees of Democracy: Some Comparative Lessons from India,” World Politics 52, no. 4 (2000): 484-519. 37. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, “Internationally-Recognized Core Labor Standards in India: Report for the WTO General Council Review of Trade Policies in India, 2002,” http://www.icftu.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 38. U.S. Department of State, “India: Country Report on Human Rights Practices (Various Years),” http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/ (accessed June 14, 2004). 39. Ibid. 40. Peter Wolcott and Seymour Goodman, “India: Is the Elephant Learning to Dance?” Communications of the Association for Information Systems 11 (2003): 560-646. 41. Unless otherwise noted, assessments in these cases rely on publicly available information on the Web sites of the following organizations: the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, the Asian Monitor Resource Center, Behind the Label, the Clean Clothes Campaign, Campaign for Labor Rights, the Child Labor Coalition, the Commonwealth Trade Union Council, the Ethical Trading Initiative, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Fair Wear Foundation, the Fair Labor Association, the Free Burma Coalition, the Free Trade Union of Burma, Global Exchange, the Global March against Child Labor, Human Rights Watch, the International Initiative to End Child Labor, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the International Labor Rights Fund, the India Committee of the Netherlands, the Japan International Labor Foundation, the Maquila Solidarity Network, the National Labor Committee, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, Rugmark, Social Accountability International, Save the Children, SOMO, Sweatshop Watch, Tie-Asia, War on Want, the Workers'Rights Consortium, and the World Confederation of Labor. 42. Anner, “Local and Transnational Campaigns to End Sweatshop Practices”; Ralph Armbruster, “Cross-Border Labor Organizing in the Garment and Automobile Industries: The Phillips Van-Heusen and Ford Cuautitlan Cases,” Journal of World-Systems Research 4, no. 1 (1998): http://jwsr.ucr.edu/archive/vol4/v4n1a3.php (accessed October 10, 2005); and Henry J. Frundt, “Models of Cross-Border Organizing in Maquila Industries,” Critical Sociology 26, nos. 1/2 (2000): 36-55. 43. For useful overviews of these different schemes, see Dara O'Rourke, “Outsourcing Regulation: Analyzing Nongovernmental Systems of Labor Standards and Monitoring,” Policy Studies Journal 31, no. 1 (2003): 1-29; and Ingeborg Wick, Workers'Tool or PR Ploy? A Guide to Codes of International Labor Practices (Bonn: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Südwind Insitute für Ökonomie und Ökumene, 2003). I have excluded Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production since no actors that can credibly be called activists participate. 44. The FLA requires monitors to consult with local NGOs, and it has accredited some southern NGOs. The WRC includes members of southern NGOs in its investigation teams, works closely with local unions, and conducts extensive interviews of workers away from the factory premises. The ETI and FWF have incorporated both local unions and NGOs into their pilot projects. SAI has only accredited for-profits based in northern countries as monitors, but it encourages southern activists to enroll in SAI auditor training courses. These courses are expensive, however, and in response to criticism, SAI has collaborated with the International Textile, Garment and Leatherworkers' Federation on a study circle program for workers in twelve countries. Much of the criticism of SAI stems from its certification of facilities in China, where there are no independent unions. See Maquila Solidarity Network, “Codes Memo No. 13” http://www .maquilasolidarity.org/resources/codes/memo13.htm (accessed June 18, 2004). 45. Geeta Chowdhry, “Challenging Child Labor: Transnational Activism and India's Carpet Industry,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 575 (May 2001): 158-75. 46. Author's interview with Agatha Schmaedick, telephone, June 2004. 47. Author's interviews with Bama Athreya, telephone, March 2002; and Jeff Ballinger, telephone, August 2001. 48. Author's interviews with Maria Roeper, telephone, March 2002; and Agatha Schmaedick, telephone, June 2004. 49. ACILS is an NGO, but it reports to the international affairs division of the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO operated regional organizations until 1995, when it consolidated them into ACILS. Kim Moody, Workers in a Lean World: Unions in the International Economy (New York: Verson, 1997). It is debatable whether all of the activities carried out by these organizations qualify as activism. The AFL-CIO's activities in particular have met with much criticism. During the Cold War, it often supported the United States' Cold War agenda, which involved suppressing left-oriented movements and the emergence of a labor-based opposition to U.S. allies. See Tom Barry and Deb Preusch, AIFLD in Central America: Agents as Organizers (Albuquerque: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1990); Jack Scott, Yankee Unions, Go Home! How the AFL Helped the U.S. Build an Empire in Latin America (Vancouver: New Star, 1978); and Beth Sims, Workers of the World Undermined: American Labor's Role in U.S. Foreign Policy (Boston: South End, 1992). 50. FES is a German NGO linked to the Social Democrats. 51. Author's interview with Jeff Ballinger, telephone, August 2001. 52. Author's interview with Muchtar Pakpahan, Jakarta, July 2001. 53. Author's interview with Rudy Porter, Jakarta, July 2002; and Ridwan, Jakarta, July 2002. 54. Author's interview with Rekson, Jakarta, July 2002. 55. Author's interview with Rustam, Jakarta, July 2002; Rekson, Jakarta, July 2002; and Hemasari, telephone, July 2002. 56. In 1999-2002, SEWA received almost $500,000 from the Danish trade union development organization alone, which is a huge amount for union development projects. 57. Author's interview with Charito Riley, telephone, June 2004. 58. Terry Collingsworth, “The Alien Tort Claims Act: A Vital Tool for Preventing Corporations from Violating Fundamental Human Rights,” http://www.laborrights.org (accessed June 14, 2004). 59. Marisa Anne Pagnattaro, “Enforcing International Labor Standards: The Potential of the Alien Tort Claims Act,” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 37, no. 1 (2004): 203-63. 60. Author's interview with Terry Collingsworth, telephone, July 23, 2004. In December 2004, Unocal agreed to settle the case out of court. 61. Author's interview with Wuaya Kawilarang, Samarinda, July 2003; and interview with Terry Collingsworth. 62. Author's interview with Terry Collingsworth. 63. The best-known cases in Burma are U Myo Aung Thant, U Kyin Kyaw, and U Saw Mya Than. In Indonesia, major campaigns championed the cases of Muchtar Pakpahan, Dita Sari, and Marsinah. 64. The arrests of Wuaya Kawilarang and Ngadinah captured the most international attention. 65. I identified names from the annual human rights reports of the U.S. State Department, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, as well as the ICFTU's annual reports, and then conducted searches on the Internet and on Lexis-Nexis to determine whether these cases captured international attention. I found no cases of long-term arrests of labor activists. 66. Kimberly Ann Elliott, Can Labor Standards Improve under Globalization? (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 2003). 67. Author's interview with Pharis Harvey, telephone, March 2002. 68. If U.S. GSP provisions were broadly construed to cover enforcement, then it would fall under the broadly targeted/insensitive to blockage type of activism. 69. Both petitions were successful. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Trade and Core Labor Standards (Paris: OECD, 2000). 70. Ibid. 71. Indonesia's GSP privileges were never withdrawn, but the case was eventually accepted for review, and its labor practices were subjected to intense scrutiny by the United States. Marlies Glasius, Foreign Policy on Human Rights: Its Influence on Indonesia under Suharto (Antwerp, Belgium: Intersentia-Hart, 1999). 72. Congress revised the law to limit extensions of reviews beyond the annual process to one year, which made it almost impossible for the USTR to launch a full-fledged investigation and to work with the country to improve labor practices before the petition expired. Author's interview with Pharis Harvey. Nevertheless, the AFL-CIO and the ILRF have initiated petitions against Belarus, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Swaziland, and Ukraine. 73. Author's interview with Pharis Harvey. Indonesia is not a good target for an EU GSP petition since forced labor is not one of the most pressing labor rights issues there. 74. Indian unions were suspicious of American organizations during and soon after the Cold War, and child labor activists feared that a GSP petition would backfire. Author's interview with Terry Collingsworth. 75. Terrence Guay, “Local Government and Global Politics: The Implications of Massachusetts’ ‘Burma Law’,” Political Science Quarterly 115, no. 3 (2000): 353-76. 76. ILO documents are available online in the ILOLEX database, http://www.ilo.org/ ilolex/english/ (accessed June 14, 2004). 77. In 1999, Burma was virtually expelled from the ILO as a result of its use of forced labor.

Keywords

  • Burma
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Labor
  • Transnational activism

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