Labor, Geopolitics and Development in East Asia
By Kevin Gray
Routledge – 2011 – 288 pages
Series: Rethinking Globalizations
The Chinese Communist Party’s response to the wave of factory strikes in the early summer of 2010 has raised important questions about the role that labour plays in the transformation of world orders. In contrast to previous policies of repression towards labour unrest, these recent disputes centring round wages and working conditions have been met with a more permissive response on the part of the state, as the CCP ostensibly seeks to facilitate a transition away from a model of political economy based on ‘low-road’ labour relations and export dependence.
Labour, Geopolitics and Development in East Asia shows that such inter-linkages between labour, geopolitical transformations, and states’ developmental strategies have been much more central to East Asia’s development than has commonly been recognised. By adopting an explanatory framework of the labour-geopolitics-development nexus, the book theorises and provides an historical analysis of the formation and transformation of the East Asian regional political economy from the end of the Second World War to the present, with particular reference to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.
1. Introduction 2. The Labour, Geopolitics and Development Nexus 3. Hegemonic Transition and the Making of East Asia 4. Labour and the Geopolitics of National Developmentalism 5. The Decline of Developmentalism 6. Democracy and Neoliberalism in East Asia 7. From US to China-Centred Regional Development? 8. Conclusion
Kevin Gray is Research Fellow at the Department of International Relations, University of Sussex, UK.