Fair Trade, Ethical Business & New Moral Economies (845L6)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

Where and under what conditions are our T-shirts produced? How does Fair Trade impact on the livelihoods of small farmers in the Global South? Is Corporate Social Responsibility just a marketing ploy? Has ethics become only a matter of personal consumption behaviour?

This module familiarises you with discourses and practices around ethics and engagement in the global economy. It covers some of the ways in which ethics in markets, trade and global production networks are phrased and expressed in the contemporary world, and explores what sorts of mobilisations have emerged in the light of new ethical concerns. You will explore the ways in which ethical issues within the sphere of the economy have long been articulated in terms of moral economy, philanthropic giving, and relationships of patronage and dependency.  The module goes on to discusses the contemporary shift towards global trade and production networks, and the ways in which this shift has produced new ethical concerns around economic behaviour.

These concerns are increasingly (and differentially) expressed in terms of CSR, fair trade and ethical consumption. They also give rise to a series of engagements in terms of CSR interventions, ethical trade initiatives, civil society activism and critical consumption practices. You will assesses each of these initiatives from both a theoretical and an ethnographic perspective. You will also critically consider the implications of such engagements in terms of power, equality and gender, and the ways in which they emerge from and reproduce complex global interdependencies.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.