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 15: Affirmative action and corporate development in Malaysia and South Africa

Hwok-Aun Lee and Lumkile Mondi


Malaysia and South Africa present two outstanding case studies of affirmative action in corporate development. Both countries promote representation of politically dominant but economically disadvantaged majority groups – Bumiputeras in Malaysia, blacks in post-apartheid South Africa – in the management and ownership of state companies. This chapter compares and contrasts the policy contexts, designs and outcomes across these countries. Malaysia has reconfigured the programme’s primary instruments over time, from state-owned entities to privatization to renationalized government-linked companies, while South Africa has maintained state-owned companies fully under government control. The Malaysian and South Africa cases demonstrate the policy’s imperatives, opportunities and pitfalls. State companies can be vehicles for affirmative action, particularly when operated based on capability, transparency and accountability, with effective governance structures and checks against political capture.

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