Korean Workers and Neoliberal Globalization
One of the most remarkable aspects of South Korea's transition from impoverished post-colonial nation to fully-fledged industrialized democracy has been the growth of its independent and dynamic labour movement. Korean Workers and Neoliberal Globalisation examines current trends and transformations within the Korean labour movement since the 1990s.
It has been a common assumption that the 'third wave' of democratisation, the end of the Cold War, and the spread of neoliberal globalisation in the latter part of the 20th century have helped to create an environment in which organised labour is better placed to overcome bureaucratic national unionism and transform itself into a potential counter-globalisation movement. However, Kevin Gray argues that despite the apparent continued phenomena of labour militancy and the rhetoric of anti-neoliberalism, the mainstream independent labour movement in Korea has become increasingly institutionalised and bureaucratised into the new capitalist democracy. This process is demonstrated by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions' experience of participation in various forms of policy making forums. Gray suggests that as a result, the KCTU has failed to mount an effective challenge against processes of neoliberal restructuring and concomitant social polarisation.
The Korean experience provides an excellent case study for understanding the relationship between organised labour and globalisation. Korean Workers and Neoliberal Globalisation will appeal to students and scholars of Korean studies and International Political Economy, as well as Asian politics and economics.
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There is no evidence to suggest that an a priori effect of globalization will be to
cause organized labour to discard the principles of international competitiveness
. Furthermore , changes in the nature of production challenge the possibility of ...
Yet , for Korea , the potentially damaging effects of the freedom of capital
movements was clearly demonstrated both prior to and during the aftermath of
the Asian crisis . Whilst the moves towards financial liberalization were not
directly the ...
The effect was to facilitate a transition in the public consciousness of labour as a
central axis of the popular minjung movement , to that of being one of many '
interest groups ' whose selfish actions were likely to have negative
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