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(searched for: doi:10.1017/s0020818300034019)
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, Youngseok Jang
Published: 4 July 2014
New Political Economy, Volume 20, pp 594-613; https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2014.951613

Abstract:
This paper argues that whilst the relationship between US consumerism and China's low-wage production has underpinned China's economic growth in recent years, policy-makers are increasingly cognisant of heightened internal and external vulnerabilities, namely increased domestic social unrest and downturns in US demand. Despite calls for increased domestic consumption, opinion remains divided as to the extent to which policy-makers will make a genuine departure with China's export-orientation. This paper argues, however, that the direction of the Chinese political economy will depend much on the transformative role of workers’ struggles. Placed in a broader north-east Asian comparative perspective, we argue that China appears to be on the verge of a transition towards a limited labour supply, as evidenced in increasing labour shortages, rising wages costs and new forms of labour unrest. An in-depth case study of the strike at Nanhai Honda in 2010 suggests that China's migrant workers are beginning to develop a class consciousness and move from reactive to proactive demands. Furthermore, the response of the Chinese state and employers has shifted from one of outright repression to one of accommodation. These trends are likely to be highly significant in terms of China's uneven integration into the global economy.
Daniel P. Aldrich
Published: 1 January 2007
SSRN Electronic Journal; https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.982949

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Published: 1 October 2004
Swiss Political Science Review, Volume 10, pp 137-178; https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1662-6370.2004.tb00035.x

Abstract:
The 1990s, which can be characterized as a decade of disinflationary growth and austerity policies for most developed market democracies, was the decade of stagnant growth and policy complacency for Switzerland and Japan. Based on a framework that emphasizes the structure of policy choices available to governments at economic crossroads (or crisis), I show Switzerland and Japan are unique in that (a) disinflationary fundamentals spared the countries from speculative or inflationary pressure that required drastic responses and (b) the governments paradoxically maintained conservative economic policies despite room for expansion in order to continue policies based on the compromise between export and domestic sectors. The policy crossroads perspective stresses the importance of endogenous coalitions even in a world of economic globalization to explain concerted politics and conservative policies, and to assess the true impact of international finance on domestic changes.
Stephen J. Anderson
PS: Political Science & Politics, Volume 25, pp 36-43; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1049096500034909

Abstract:
Is Japan enigmatic because it is unique? Problems of social and economic policy in contemporary Japan challenge myths about uniqueness. By focusing on comparable problems, this essay notes the limits of world views about Japanese uniqueness and the exceptionalism of countries.An aim is to unbundle areas that illustrate the policy process and reflect on models of policymaking. In the diversity within Japan, policy-making in specific areas reflects on the approaches of corporatism, pluralism, and state-centered theorists.Across policy areas, instructors will discover problems of Japan's industrial society that are nonetheless comparable to elsewhere. Throughout East Asia, scholars note the distinct social, ideological, and historical contexts that challenge past social theory. A leading Asian country can offer rich additions to a course on comparative politics and public policy. In Japan, one also can emphasize familiar features of industrial society, economy, and polity that test various approaches and models of policymaking. Using areas of labor, welfare, agriculture, and education as examples, instructors may pursue these and additional topics found from the bibliographies and readings.
Young-Kwan Yoon
Published: 1 October 1990
World Politics, Volume 43, pp 1-27; https://doi.org/10.2307/2010549

Abstract:
The issue of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) has attracted scant attention because of its relative insignificance to the Japanese economy before the 1980s. In the 1970s only a few analysts explained the Japanese FDI behavior from a macroeconomic perspective. This paper argues that there has been a noticeable change in the nature of Japanese FDI in the 1980s, a position that supports the traditional microeconomic explanation based on the oligopolistic market theory. This convergence toward the “Western” style of FDI reflects a fundamental shift of the Japanese economy from a trade-oriented economy to one that is foreign investment—oriented. However, as the experiences of two hegemonic states (Great Britain and the United States) have shown, foreign investment is not the best economic strategy from a long-term perspective. Preliminary evidence in recent years indicates that increasing FDI affects Japan's productivity growth negatively by weakening both the production base and the various sources of Japanese competitiveness.
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