Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation

Edited by Andreas Nölke and Christian May

Over the past few decades, corporations have been neglected in studies of international political economy (IPE). Seeking to demystify them, what they are, how they behave and their goals and constraints, this Handbook introduces the corporation as a unit of analysis for students of IPE. Providing critical discussion of their global and domestic power, and highlighting the ways in which corporations interact with each other and with their socio-political environment, this Handbook presents a thorough and up-to-date overview of the main debates around the role of corporations in the global political economy.
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Chapter 4: Labour in the corporation: the political economy of capital versus thepolitical economy of labour

Matthias Ebenau

Abstract

This chapter discusses the issue of labour in the corporation from a global political economy perspective. It seeks to understand the corporation as a site where the political economies of capital and labour intersect, and discusses their basic principles, latent conflicts and possible complementarities. In order to analyse the way concrete capital_labour relations in the corporation are overdetermined by existing institutions, the chapter develops the heuristic of labour regimes, centred on industrial relations, shop floor representation, as well as social and employment protection. The conceptual arguments are illustrated throughout with examples from the German and Argentine automotive industries, in particular concerning recent disputes on employment flexibility and its cost.

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