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States' Gains, Labor's Losses: China, France, and Mexico Choose Global Liaisons, 1980-2000
     

States' Gains, Labor's Losses: China, France, and Mexico Choose Global Liaisons, 1980-2000

by Dorothy J. Solinger
 

In this explicitly comparative work, Dorothy J. Solinger examines the effects of global markets on the domestic politics of major states. In the late 1970s, leaders around the world faced a need both to continue productive investment and to cut labor costs to compete internationally in a changed world market. To accommodate forces seemingly beyond their control,

Overview

In this explicitly comparative work, Dorothy J. Solinger examines the effects of global markets on the domestic politics of major states. In the late 1970s, leaders around the world faced a need both to continue productive investment and to cut labor costs to compete internationally in a changed world market. To accommodate forces seemingly beyond their control, they often opted to reduce social protections and benefits that citizens had come to expect, in the process recalibrating their established political-economic coalitions. For countries whose governance was built on a coalition between workers and the state, the political conundrum was particularly intense.

States' Gains, Labor's Losses concentrates on three countries—China, France, and Mexico—where revolution-inspired political compacts between labor and the state had to be renegotiated. In all three cases, choices to forge a deepened dependence on international capital markets required the ruling parties to fire large numbers of workers and cut social benefits while attempting not to provoke widespread social unrest or even full-scale revolt among their supporters. China, France, and Mexico also shared strong legacies of protectionism and state intervention in the economy, so the decision of each to join a supranational economic organization (France and the EU, China and the GATT/WTO, Mexico and NAFTA) in the hope of alleviating crises of capital shortage involved submission to a new set of liberal economic rules that further compromised their sociopolitical compacts.

Examining a fundamental question about the dynamics of globalization and worker protest through an innovative comparative perspective, States' Gains, Labor's Losses emphasizes the growing tensions and new compromises between the working class and their political leaders in the face of intense international economic pressures.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"States' Gains, Labor's Losses is an ambitious, original, and important book. Dorothy J. Solinger carefully examines the evolution of labor relations across three very different countries in response to heightened exposure to global economic forces. The book not only offers compelling insights for the study of political economy and industrial relations but also demonstrates the utility of cross-regional comparative analysis."—Rudra Sil, University of Pennsylvania, coeditor of The Politics of Labor in a Global Age

"Dorothy J. Solinger sustains a fascinating and compelling analysis of the shift from protectionism to international economic integration in China, France, and Mexico. Her book is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand the dynamics of globalization and labor politics across the world since the late 1970s."—Jane Duckett, University of Glasgow

"States' Gains, Labor's Losses is a must read. The choice of case studies is bold—France, Mexico, and China, countries coming from three different regions of the world with three different kinds of governments; the focus is inspired—the tug-of-war between state and labor in response to global pressures for liberalizing reform; and the explanation significant—the drivers of change were state officials intent on following the dictates of supranational economic organizations while the outcomes varied according to labor unions' mediating role and workers' capacity for organization and protest. In these times of economic crisis, when the state is back in and workers are even more under siege, these insights are especially useful for our analysis of future trajectories of change."—Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Boston University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801447778
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
09/10/2009
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

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