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School of Business and Management

Dara Leyden

 Dara Leyden



Dara possesses a Masters degree in Global Political Economy from the University of Sussex (Distinction), an Advanced Diploma in Economics from the University of Cambridge (Merit), and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sheffield (1st Class, with Honours). He also qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW (ACA, first time passes). Dara worked for four and a half years at PwC London in the Business Restructuring team during the global financial crisis, working on projects including Lehman Brothers, Nortel and the Co-operative Bank. He subsequently worked for four and a half years at Save the Children, to launch a new humanitarian capacity-building initiative.

Project Title

The struggle for upgrading: A study of electronics global value chains in Thailand.

Project Description

Global Value Chains (GVCs) have grown rapidly since 1990, accounting for over half of world trade by 2008. They are defined as stages of production that span across borders, whereby ‘upgrading’ entails moving to higher-value stages in GVCs. Owing to significant participation by developing countries, GVC frameworks have grown to dominate development policymaking. This project studies the underlying processes that influence connections between industrial and social upgrading within GVCs, by analysing the electronics industry in Thailand, which is judged by the World Bank to have recently upgraded to ‘Advanced Manufacturing and Services’. Thailand's new development model targets further upgrading within electronics GVCs in pursuit of inclusive development. The study will assess if, and how, industrial upgrading and social upgrading has occurred by analysing the causal connections between them.


1st Supervisor: Professor Liam Campling
2nd Supervisor: Professor Adrian Smith


Selwyn, B. & Leyden, D. (2021) Oligopoly-driven development: The World Bank’s Trading for development in the Age of Global Value Chains in perspective.

Selwyn, B & Leyden, D. (2021) Understanding development in a Global Value Chain World: Comparative Advantage or Monopoly Capital Theory?

Leyden, D. & Selwyn, B. (2019) Globalisation’s corroding edifice. Le Monde Diplomatique, 24 October 2019.


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