A comparative study of the restructuring of the Irish and Danish dairy processing industries : a regulationist approach
Using a regulationist approach, the concept of the Mode of Social Regulation (MSR) is explored in a cross-national comparative context. Increasingly, die national MSR is subject to global regulation and this study seeks to identify the form and outcome of the national MSR for the dairy processing industries of Ireland and Denmark. The approach permits contrasts in the MSRs and their outcomes to be developed in two comparable, yet different contexts. The MSR is addressed empirically by sub-dividing it into five elements (market and competition, financial relations, labour relations, policy, and adhesion to the global regime) as outlined by Marden (1992), in addition to hegemony. The elements are explored through in-depth interviews with key actors in the dairy supply system in both countries. The study shows that, even though both national dairy processing industries are subject to the same supranational and global regulation, different national MSRs have evolved and resulted in markedly different development paths for the two national dairy industries. National and local regulation have had a strong influence on the national MSRs however, both national MSRs have become increasingly integrated into the global dairy market. In addition, new MSRs do not represent a clean break with past MSRs rather they build upon and are contingent on past MSRs. The research has found that the type of accumulation also has a significant influence on national MSRs and a distinction is drawn in this thesis between producer-led accumulation and investor-led accumulation in the dairy processing industry. As the national MSRs have evolved, hegemony has shifted from a group or coalition of national organisations and dairy processing companies to globally-orientated and integrated companies.