Edited by Matthew W. Finkin and Guy Mundlak
Chapter 14: Building BRICS of success?
This chapter explores the current regulatory challenges in four major countries whose economies have a very significant impact internationally. These countries are China, India, Brazil and South Africa – four of the so-called BRICS, the 2010 rephrased acronym used to refer to the emerging market economies of these four countries plus Russia, after South Africa joined in at its III Summit. The original group, named at the time BRIC, had gathered together in 2006 in order to have some common foreign policy guidelines. Unlike many countries in the developing world, these nations have the expertise, and the political and economic capacity, to determine the orientation of their labour laws. In the case of South Africa and China, in particular, they have made use of these circumstances to embark on many significant labour law reforms; unlike the recent experience of southern Europe, these have not been ‘deregulatory’. Despite the fact that the BRICS constitute a formal grouping, the first response of many readers may be that this discussion involves a comparison of apples and oranges. Undoubtedly their economies are very differently structured; their political trajectories vary enormously; and their legal frameworks have evolved from very different origins. Still, their growing importance in a globalised environment draws everyone’s consideration and stimulates a consideration of the nations as a group. Thus, for all their evident dissimilarities, we set out to investigate whether there is a cluster of similar problems relating to labour and employment law among four of the BRICS states.
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