International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

David I. Bell Ed.D.

Second Reader

Nigel O. M. Brissett, Ed.D.


This paper examines the history, frames, critiques and current applications of Fair Trade in the artisan sector, with an eye to raising up the specific trade-offs being made, and their implications for an evolving artisan market in the global north and south. It includes a discussion of the history of the Fair Trade idea, including that sector’s increasing focus on certification, agricultural commodities, and corporate involvement. It investigates the potential lessons the artisan sector can learn from the agricultural one, as well as the lessons learned from current actors in the artisan Fair Trade field. Using a continuum of trade-offs as a model, this paper provides an analysis of the ongoing decision-making processes such actors engage with, acknowledging the complexity of the sector and the many examined and unexamined positionalities of different stakeholders.



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