Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Source Publication

Labour Law in an Era of Globalization: Transformative Practices and Possibilities. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2002.


New technologies, new patterns of consumption and production, new levels of intensity, magnitude, and volatility in the movement of people, information, and capital are transforming the global political economy. Many effects of this transformation become manifest in the domain of public policy, where parties across the political spectrum have embraced the nee-liberal agenda. That agenda has been characterized, perhaps hyperbolically, as the 'hollowing out of the state': fac ilitation of transnational business activity; reduction of corporate and personal taxes and cuts in public expenditures, especially on social welfare; deregulation of domestic markets. These developments in turn are weakening, perhaps fatally, the labour market strategies and institutions of the prior dispensation, the post-war Keynesian welfare state: counter-cyclical job creation, collective bargaining, protective labour legislation, and equality-enhancing strategies. And most importantly, in the new global political economy, most states have come to feel that they cannot return to their former interventionist approaches to the labour market: either they suffer from a failure of will-they are afraid to alienate transnational corporations (TN Cs) and risk losing investment, revenues, and jobs; or they suffer from a failure of imagination-they cannot see how to regulate TNCs more aggressively because so many key activities and actors lie beyond their juridical space.


© Oxford University Press
By permission of Oxford University Press.

Request a copy that is accessible using assistive technology (link opens in a new window)

Catalogue Record

Click here to access the catalogue record for this item.