A solid follow-up for the University of California Press to Disposable People, New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Balles published in 1999. Let me quote the last paragraph of Ellen Israel Rosen's new book: "Making Sweatshops has been an effort to examine the causes of job loss, declining wages, and the reemergence of apparel sweatshops in the United States and developing countries. Defining and refining solutions to these problems must wait on the work of others—on intellectuals, policy makers, and activists. I hope this book will be part of a larger effort to ensure that significant part of the new and emerging global labor force, women apparel workers, will be able to earn a living wage." Remy C

Making Sweatshops
The Globalization of the U.S. Apparel Industry
By Ellen Israel Rosen

Making Sweatshops reveals the inexorable movement towards an open trading system, the shifting alignments of actors pushing for or opposing openness, and, most centrally, how trade policy promotes the globalization of apparel production, filling a gap in our understanding of these dynamics.
—Richard P. Appelbaum, coauthor of Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Apparel Industry

A detailed examination of the role that trade policy plays in the process of globalization. Rosen provides a meticulous historical analysis of the textile/apparel industry, one of the world's most globalized industries and one of its most hot-button issues.
—Stephen Cullenberg, coauthor of Transition and Development in India

Rosen shows how politics have always shaped the trade agenda from beginning to end, and she presents a most compelling case that if trade and the global economy are to foster justice and equality for the people of our world, we will need to rewrite the existing rules of global trade.
—Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labor Committee.

The only comprehensive historical analysis of the globalization of the U.S. apparel industry, this book focuses on the reemergence of sweatshops in the United States and the growth of new ones abroad. Ellen Israel Rosen, who ha spent more than a decade investigating the problems of America's domestic apparel workers, now probes the shifts in trade policy and global economics that have spawned momentous changes in the international apparel and textile trade.

Making Sweatshops asks whether the process of globalization can be promoted in ways that blend industrialization and economic development in both poor and rich countries with concerns for social and economic justice—especially for the women who toil in the industry's low-wage sites around the world.

Rosen looks closely at the role trade policy has played in globalization in this industry. She traces the history of current policies toward the textile and apparel trade to cold war politics and the reconstruction of the Pacific Rim economies after World War II. Her narrative takes us through the rise of protectionism and the subsequent dismantling of trade protection during the Reagan era to the passage of NAFTA and the continued push for trade accords through the WTO.

Going beyond purely economic factors, this valuable study elaborates the full historical and political context in which the globalization of textiles and apparel has taken place. Rosen takes a critical look at the promises of prosperity, both in the U.S. and in developing countries, made by advocates for the global expansion of these industries. She offers evidence to suggest that this process may inevitably create new and more extreme forms of poverty.


Ellen Israel Rosen is Resident Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University and author of Bitter Choices: Blue-Collar Women In and Out of Work (1987). Brandeis University, 515 South Street MS 079 Waltham, MA 02454-9110 (781) 736-8100  (fax) (781) 736-8117.

Publication Dates: December 3, 2002 (domestic); January 2, 2003 (foreign)
Much more info from the UCPress website
Another related title from UCPress: Behind The Label (2000)

University of California Press
2120 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720

Sociology/Politics/Labor Studies
336 pages, 6 x 9, 2 line illustrations, 4 tables
cloth 0-520-23336-0 $55.00 (£37.95)
paper 0-520-23337-9$21.95 (£15.95)

Contact: Sarah Skaggs, Publicity
University of California Press