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Title: States, economic globalisation and changing modes of labour regulation in the Asia/Pacific region : a comparative study of New Zealand, Japan and Malaysia
Author: Prasad, Satendra
ISNI:       0000 0001 3498 5061
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1999
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Through a historical and comparative examination of economic restructuring, this thesis has explored the centrality of state regulation of labour in explaining the patterns of accelerated economic internationalisation in New Zealand, Japan and Malaysia. The primary aim of this thesis was to explore the place of labour regulation in explaining the process of accelerated internationalisation that is associated with the term economic globalisation in these three reform-oriented states. Through a detailed examination of New Zealand, Malaysia and Japan, light was thrown on the variety of ways in which states articulated reform agendas, and mediated domestic and international pressures during periods of reform. The patterns of economic restructuring followed by the three states differed significantly. However, political agencies, rather than policy per se, within the reform process were found to be central to explaining the trajectories and variabilities in the patterns of internationalisation. The study found that labour market strategies featured heavily in the restructuring processes, establishing the political context and background to changes in labour market policies and strategies in the three settings. Contrary to the mainstream globalisation debates, this thesis highlights the central role of the state and politics in the processes of economic restructuring during periods of accelerated internationalisation. These were demonstrated through the variety of ways in which state-market relationships were re-configured. At the same time, the country studies demonstrated that reform-oriented states were themselves transformed during the phase of accelerated internationalisation. The transformations were most vividly highlighted in the internationalised economic sectors and within state institutions. These were the points where the interface between the global and the local were most strongly expressed, helping draw out the nodal nature of reform oriented states. In spite of the variabilities of the reform, some general observations were noted. These included the fragmenting and dislocating impacts upon organised labour, and emergence of new forms of labour market segmentation, the rise of multiple regimes of labour regulation and a gradual expansion in the area of individual rights. These were important to understanding the ways in which labours' compliance was secured during periods of radical reform. Through a historical overview, the thesis demonstrated that contestation and negotiation involving a number of agents re-shaped the trajectories of economic policy. But the nature of politics itself appeared to have been transformed as well. What was especially noteworthy was the way in which an economic policy regime was introduced, legitimated and sustained. Through political reforms, this economic policy regime was shielded from distributional pressures and most especially from contestation by labour. This, we have argued was fundamental to explaining accelerated economic internationalisation in these economies in the modem period. The thesis thus makes a modest contribution to understanding how states and labour regulation underpin the processes through which accelerated economic internationalisation, and the associated reconfiguration of state-market relationships are secured. By recasting the role of the state, and its approach to labour regulation, a sharper picture of the principal levers driving the process of economic globalisation in the contemporary era can be thus obtained.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of the South Pacific
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor