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Title: Reinventing the wheel : labour, development and global car production in post-1970s China and Mexico
Author: Wenten, Jan-Frido
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 1081
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis investigates under which conditions, how and why the agency of workers - in its relation to that of other social agents - shapes the development and operations of global automotive manufacturers in different locales of the Global South. It zooms in on the Mexican and Chinese subsidiaries of a German - and one of the largest - global car producers. Theoretically, it challenges the dominance of explanations of industrial development as products of governmentbusiness interactions on the one hand, and the substitution of comparative statics for the tracing of historical changes on the other. Instead, it argues that worker agency becomes a constitutive factor by deflecting the strategic agency of managers and policy makers into unintended consequences. The comparative case study provides empirical evidence for the institutional and structural conditions of worker agency; how they interpret and act upon these conditions; and how through processes of relational agency workers induce institutional and structural change. This endeavour allows for a reassessment of the hypothesis that there will be converging developments of strong automotive labour movements in China and Mexico. And it provides new empirical evidence to address the puzzle of convergence and divergence between the "productive model" of the mother company and the operations of its subsidiaries in the Global South.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral