This paper raises two questions to take a first step in developing a research agenda to assess the developmental relevance of responsible production, which includes both Fair Trade and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The first question is: How likely is it that responsible production becomes increasingly mainstreamed? After defining responsible production and contrasting the models and realities of Fair Trade and CSR, I present the rather optimistic ‘business case’ for a ‘race to the top’ which would also imply a further mainstreaming of responsible production. However, this optimism is put in perspective with some sobering observations about how the rise of China and India as centers of global production and consumption may well limit the reach of responsible production. To what extent can we expect the ‘tool’ of responsible production to enhance developmental outcomes? Notwithstanding the limited overall reach of responsible production, I will argue that it might be feasible to develop ‘pockets’ of responsible production in which various stakeholders have found ways to selectively work together in order to enhance the localized depth of responsible production. The paper concludes with formulating some hypotheses for further research and putting forward the policy relevance of such research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Asia, Asian drivers, China, India, NGOs, corporate social responsibility, fair trade, labour standards, responsible production
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Persistent URL
Knorringa, P.. (2007). Asian drivers and the future of responsible production and consumption: exploring a research question and hypotheses for future research.. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from