1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

  • 0
  • 0

Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development

Life Along the Copper Value Chain: The Swiss Commodity Trading Hub and its Impact in the Global South

Date: 10 - 11 Dec 2018

Life Along the Copper Value Chain: The Swiss Commodity Trading Hub and its Impact in the Global South
On behalf of an international research consortium in which it is a partner, UNRISD is organizing two events in Geneva in December this year.
  • Round Table Discussion: Monday, 10 December 2018, 18.00–20.00 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Research Symposium: Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 09.00–17.00 at the Palais des Nations

Both events are open to the public.

Register for the Research Symposium in the Palais des Nations here:

The events present the research results of the Valueworks project, funded by SNIS. For an introduction to the issues, see this blog post by project collaborator Rita Kesselring.

How does the global (financialized) commodity trade impact on local lifeworlds?

The growing influence of transnational market intermediaries, including financial actors, has profoundly changed the global commodities trade, "de-linking" markets in commodities from the material conditions of production and use and "re-linking" them to offshore marketplaces and trading hubs, such as Switzerland.

How do these processes affect local lives along the copper value chain, from the mining pits and the surrounding communities in Zambia, through towns and harbours on African transport corridors, through Swiss trading firms and banks to the sites of industrial production and recycling in China?

Bringing together researchers from Swiss and Southern universities, NGOs and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), these events aim to provide a better understanding of the direct and indirect consequences of global (financialized) commodity trade on local lifeworlds, and contribute to better regulation and oversight of the sector, in order to move towards more ethical trading and production systems conducive to the vision of sustainable development and Agenda 2030. At these events, researchers will present new research findings and highlight key implications for policy and best practices for Swiss policy makers, civil society activists and UN experts.

The research consortium

Research organizations
University of Basel
University of Zurich
University of Neuchâtel
University of Freiburg
University of Oxford
University of Oldenburg
University of Zambia
East China Normal University
Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR)
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

Non-governmental organizations
Solidar Suisse
Swiss Apartheid Debt and Reparations Campaign
Public Eye
Mufulira NGO Forum
Solwezi civil society organizations


This project is funded by the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS).

Image credits: Composition by Sergio Sandoval based on photographs by Luca Rüegg and Kamryn Hinojos, public domain via Unsplash.