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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


Head of PIR comments on Scotland as Fair Trade Nation

Professor Tim Hayward asks what can be said about fairness in relation to trade?


Tim Hayward, Professor of Environmental Political Theory and Head of the Politics & International Relations subject area, offers a timely essay on the issue of fair trade.

With Scotland having today been named a Fair Trade Nation, Tim's essay for the Edinburgh PIR student journal Leviathan asks 'What can be said about fairness in relation to to trade?'

As universities, and even nations now, claim Fair Trade status (or Fairtrade, one word, if they link their claims to a particular source of certification), academics and other critics would have us pause for thought about what fairness in relation to trade is really supposed to mean according to those who proclaim it as a goal or achievement.  Tim aim's to show that while sceptical voices need to be heard, it can nevertheless be intellectually respectable to research and teach about fair trade. And that means it is certainly worthwhile, ethically, to do so.

You can read more about Tim's ongoing research and thinking in this area on his blog