Chapter

Institutional Legacies and the Transformation of Labor: Late‐Industrializing and Post‐socialist Economies in Comparative‐Historical Perspective

Rudra Sil and Christopher Candland

in The Politics of Labor in a Global Age

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780199241149
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598920 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199241147.003.0011
 Institutional Legacies and the Transformation of Labor: Late‐Industrializing and Post‐socialist Economies in Comparative‐Historical Perspective

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This concluding chapter considers what is gained by juxtaposing the varied analyses within a common framework intended to analyse the effects of distinctive institutional legacies on the responses to common pressures frequently associated with ‘globalization.’ The chapter begins by considering some of the shared features of industrial relations that emerged in the course of industrialization in late developing and socialist states, noting some factors that make it difficult to apply models based on the experiences of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.) countries to the analysis of labour regimes elsewhere. The comparisons also reveal important differences that distinguished industrial relations in socialist countries from those in post‐colonial contexts, and the ways in which these differences may contribute to different patterns and outcomes in the transformation of industrial relations in the two contexts. The remainder of the chapter highlights similarities and differences in trends across the cases considered in the contributions to this volume, and goes on to inductively construct a theoretical scheme for tracing how varied historical inheritances in the late‐industrializing and post‐socialist economies create different sets of expectations, pressures, and challenges for economic reformers as well as for workers and organized labour. The role of unique historical factors and institutional structures is also considered, with new questions raised on the basis of specific variations that occur within or cut across the categories of post‐socialist and post‐colonial settings. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the concept of globalization is most useful when it is employed not as a universal model for projecting trajectories of institutional change but as a more restricted framework for capturing the common challenges facing labour and other economic factors in the process of economic adjustment.

Keywords: economic reform; globalization; industrial relations; institutional legacies; labour relations; OECD; organized labour; post‐colonial countries; post‐communist countries

Chapter.  11926 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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