Axel Marx

Deputy Director Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies

KU Leuven


Axel Marx is Deputy Director Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies (KU Leuven), an interdisciplinary research centre of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the KU Leuven. Since 2010, the Centre has been recognized as a KU Leuven Centre of Excellence and since 2016 as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

Axel has managed over 70 funded research projects including multi-team and international FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects and acted as a consultant to several national and international organizations including  the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, International Labour Organization, International Trade Centre, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards, UNCTAD, OECD, IDEA, Worldbank, the Belgian, Dutch and German Governments and several private actors.

His academic publications (200+) have appeared in five dozen leading international peer reviewed journals and 10 languages. He has published inter alia in ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, World Trade Review, Business and Politics, Global Policy, International Labour Review, Journal of World Trade, Journal of World Trade and Investment, Regulation and Governance, European Political Science Review, Political Research Quarterly, Field Methods, Journal of European Integration, Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Global Public Policy and Governance, Politics and Governance, International Journal of Human Rights, Journal of Human Rights Practice, Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology, Development: the Quarterly Journal of the Society for International Development, World Bank Legal Review, Sociological Methodology, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Globalizations, Asia-Europe Journal, International Development Policy, Research in Sociology of Organizations and Journal of SocioEconomics.

He recently co-edited books on Global Governance of Labor Rights (Edward Elgar with J. Wouters, G. Rayp & L. Beke, 2015); Global Governance Through Trade (Edward Elgar with J. Wouters, B. Natens & D. Geraets, 2015) and edited a Research Collection on Global Governance (Edward Elgar, 2019 with J. Wouters) and a Research Handbook on Global Governance, Business and Human Rights (Edward Elgar, 2022). He was guest co-editor for special issues in International Labour Review (2016), Global Policy (2017, 2023), Sustainability (2019, 2020) and Journal of European Integration (2022).

He developed a Massive Open Online Course on the Sustainable Development Goals and Sustainable Trade on the EdXplatform and launched an EdX Professional Certificate on Global Sustainability Governance. As a guest lecturer he taught inter alia at European University Institute, China University of Political Science and Law and several other European Universities. He is currently the co-chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards, a member of the Evidensia Research Council and a member of the steering committee of the ILO Labour Provisions in Trade Agreements Hub. His research interests include voluntary sustainability standards, sustainable development, sustainable trade, human/labour rights, global governance, corporate social responsibility, governance through trade, EU trade policy and comparative case methods.

Recent Relevant Publications

  1. 2022
    Research Handbook on Global Governance, Business and Human Rights
    Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
    Marx, A., Van Calster, G., Wouters, J., with Otteburn, K. & D. Lica (2022)(eds.)
  2. 2020
    ‘Towards a corporate duty for lead companies to respect human rights in their global value chains?’
    in, Business and Politics, 22, 4, pp. 667-97.
    Bright, C., Marx, A., Pineau, N. and J. Wouters (2020)
  3. 2019
    ‘Judicial Accountability in EU Member States for Corporate Human Rights Abuses in Third Countries’
    pp. 157-185, in, European Yearbook of Human Rights. Antwerpen: Intersentia
    Marx, A., Bright, C., Pineau, N. & J. Wouters (2019)
  4. 2017
    Combating Slavery, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking
    in, Global Policy, 8, 4, pp. 495-529
    Marx, A. & J. Wouters (2017)(eds)