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POLS2402 Lecture Notes 9-14-2011

POLS2402 Lecture Notes 9-14-2011 - POLS2402 Lecture Notes...

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POLS2402 Lecture Notes 9-14-2011 Wither solidarity? Globalization & Labor: or can labor globalize? Howard Guille The Internationale Arise you prisoners of starvation Arise you wretched of the earth For justice thudners condemnation A better worlds in birth No more tradition’s chains shall bind us Arise you slaves no more in thrall The earth shall rise on new foundations We have been naught; we shall be all Old and new o Painting – Labour’s May Day Some themes o What has neo-liberal globalization done to labor? o What are the structural forces facing labor – is there a “race to the bottom”? o Do national boundaries/chauvinism hinder labor? Seem to be a problem with Queensland o How effective is the international regulation through the ILO & international trade union bodies? The global labor market o Over 20-25 years the world supply of “effective” labor available to capital has double (Freeman) or quadrupled (IMF) o Extra 2 billion potential workers o Capital to labor ratio reduced by 60 percent o Fall of USSR and Eastern Europe, market socialism in China (and Vietnam) shift away from self-reliance in India o Coincided with Real reduction in costs of shipping physical goods “real-time” IT (at least for main urban systems) Increasing role of foreign direct investment o Has brought labor into competition globally – through physical and virtual trade and through demands of investors Complex patterns of relocation of production o Consumer household goods form US and Europe to China, Mexico, and South Korea o Machinery and capital goods from US to Brazil and Korea – but still major industries in EU except UK o Shift of vehicles and parts within EU to East European accession countries of former Comecon o Footwear and clothing – form multiple sources to Southern Asia and Indo-China; clothing from Bangladesh to China o Software maintenance, data processing and call centers to India, Caribbean, and Ghana
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o Research and design staying in the “core” North o New owners especially of “legacy” industries eg Mittal, Tata Some complexities o By work-force manufacturing has shifted to the “South” especially clothing and textiles, basic manufactures, domestic goods o By value world trade in manufacturing is still dominated by the United States, EU, and Japan o Growth in developed countries share of computing and communications equipment (UNIDO 2009) o Investment is dominated by “north” and by TNCs who operate “global supply chains” o
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