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Title: The EU-centred commodity chain in canned tuna and upgrading in Seychelles
Author: Campling, Liam
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Global commodity chain (GCC) and related frameworks have generated a rich empirical literature on production-consumption linkages in the world economy. To date, there are few comprehensive studies on GCCs in fisheries products. This thesis investigates the EU-centred commodity chain in canned tuna, and interrogates three major themes in the literature: chain governance by 'lead' firms, regulatory mechanisms, and 'upgrading'. Part I traces historical and contemporary 'economic' dynamics, namely horizontal and vertical competitive relations among firms in the fishing (Chapter 2) and manufacturing, branding and retail (Chapter 3) nodes. It shows how the environmental conditions of extraction shape the commodity chain; that highly capital intensive fishing firms are not chain 'drivers'; and that chain governance emanates primarily from supermarkets and canned tuna branded-firms. Part II examines the 'political' dimensions of the chain through the mechanisms regulating resource access by EU fishing firms (Chapter 4) and the EU-centred canned tuna trade, especially with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states (Chapter 5). It argues that inter-state and state-firm relations shape the cost structure and economic geography of the EU-centred chain both historically and today. Part III combines the 'economic' and the 'political' through a case study of upgrading in Seychelles, one of the most important tuna transhipment/ landing hubs and sites of canned tuna production. It investigates the strategies of Seychelles governments to upgrade in the fishing and canning nodes of the chain and their developmental effects. Upgrading is explored as a combination of structural, environmental and conjunctural dynamics, including those of domestic Seychelles politics. The thesis concludes that environmental conditions of production, the historical formation of chains, and unequal relations between and within states and firms are important lacunae in GCC and related frameworks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral