Member Publications

RSS Member Bryce Hannibal recently had a paper accepted in Environmental Sociology.  The paper is titled, "The Effect of local water Scarcity and drought in water conservation behaviors."

Abstract: This study examines the influence of observed local water scarcity on individual water conservation behaviors. We examine three distinct sets dependent variables measuring water conservation behaviors that require differing levels of individual investment. These variables measure behaviors that require no financial investment (such as shorter showers), minimal financial investment (low-flow fixtures), and larger financial investment (new appliances). We use a multilevel statistical regression to determine if a relationship exists between local levels of drought and individual water conservation behavior. Our primary finding is that individuals who live in counties that experience drought have a higher tendency to make behavioral changes to conserve water and make small financial investments to conserve water. We find no relationship between local water scarcity and larger financial investments to conserve water. Overall, results suggest that individuals’ environmental behaviors may be closely connected to their local environmental context as long as significant financial investment is not required.

To see the paper click this link.

RSS Member Laura Raynolds has recently published an article in Third World Quarterly titled "Fairtrade Certification, Labor Standards, and Labor Rights: Comparative Innovations and Persistent Challenges."

Abstract: Fairtrade International is the primary social certification in the agro-food sector, working to promote the wellbeing and empowerment of farmers and workers in the Global South.  Although Fairtrade’s farmer program is well studied, far less is known about its labor certification. Helping fill this gap, this article provides a systematic account of Fairtrade’s labor certification system and standards and compares it to four other voluntary programs addressing labor conditions in global agro-export sectors.  The study explains how Fairtrade International institutionalizes its equity and empowerment goals in its labor certification system and its recently revised labor standards.  Drawing on critiques of compliance based labor standard programs and proposals regarding the central features of a beyond compliance approach, the inquiry focuses on Fairtrade’s efforts in promoting (1) inclusive governance, (2) participatory oversight, and (3) enabling rights.  I argue that Fairtrade makes important, but incomplete, advances in each domain, pursuing a worker enabling compliance model based on new audit report sharing, living wage, and unionization requirements and its established Premium Program. While Fairtrade pursues more robust beyond compliance advances than competing programs, the study finds that like other voluntary initiatives, Fairtrade faces critical challenges in implementing its standards and realizing its empowerment goals.

To see the paper click this link.