Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production

Edited by Kees van der Pijl

This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art overview of the changing world of global production. Chapters cover the geography of why and where jobs are moving in both manufacturing and services. The authors discuss topics relating to the human and natural basis on which production rests, from the consequences of exploitation and marginalization on body and mind, to sex work, biotechnology, and the prospects for ecological re-balancing. This Handbook will appeal to academics at all levels interested in political economy, international studies and politics, as well as trade unionists and NGO activists.
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Chapter 4: The political economy of global labour arbitrage

Raúl Delgado Wise and David T. Martin


The strategy of global labour arbitrage, pursued by the large transnational corporations, has become a major component in the neoliberal restructuring of the international political economy. The neoliberal era has opened a new phase in the history of contemporary capitalism and imperial domination, based on the exploitation of cheap, flexible labour, principally from the Global South. Facilitated by the revolution in information and communication technologies, the massive expansion of global reserve army of labour – particularly as a consequence of the dismantling of the former Soviet Union and the incorporation of China into the global capitalist labour market – and the imposition of structural adjustment programmes on the Global South, monopoly capital has found an easy, and yet apparently inexhaustible, source of extraordinary profits: the polarization and intensification of wage differentials along the North–South axis.

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