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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Given that the government's policies were largely directed at transferring the
costs of restructuring to the working class , the prospect of achieving real and
meaningful social agreement with anything but the highest levels of the labour ...
... as being largely ineffectual , providing low quality training for jobs that did not
exist ( Lee et al . ... low quality irregular work for laid - off regular workers , and
are even largely staffed by irregular workers themselves ( OECD 2000 : 112-113
Whilst the KCTU has since then sought to improve the status of irregular workers ,
this has largely failed . The strategy of pursuing welfare reforms has been largely
ineffectual because The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions ' social reform ...
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Neoliberal globalization labour and resistance
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The rise and fall of militant labour unionism in Korea
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