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Fairness and Division of Labor in Market Societies: Comparison of U.S. and German Automotive Industries

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Volume 3

Business History and Political Economy

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Fairness and Division of Labor in Market Societies

Comparison of U.S. and German Automotive Industries

Hyeong-Ki Kwon

240 pages, 10 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-671-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2004)

eISBN 978-1-78920-581-7 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - edit   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"The brilliance of this study consists not simply in refuting existing and very powerful paradigms in explaining market governance, but in developing an innovative alternative that should have considerable impact both in terms of political-economic theory as well as managerial practice."  · Michael Geyer, Chicago University

"The work is a very trenchant and sustained critique of both the neo-liberal convergence and the Varieties of Capitalism views of the differences between the US and Germany. It presents an interesting alternative view."  · Gary Herrigel, Chicago University


Contrary to the explanations offered by the theory of non-reflexive, path-dependent institutionalism, the U.S. and the German automotive industries undertook strikingly similar patterns of industry modification under tough international competition during the 1990s, departing from their traditional national patterns. By investigating the processes of the U.S. and German adjustments, the author critically reconsiders the prevalent paradigms of political economy and comes to the conclusion that the evidence does not confirm the neoliberal paradigm. In order to better account for the recomposition of new market relations, which the author terms "converging but non-liberal" and "diverging but not predetermined" markets, he proposes an alternative model of "politics among reflexive agents," emphasizing different kinds of problem-solving practices among those reflexive agents. He argues that different forms and regimes of market are established in the process of recomposition, in which agents reflect upon not only market rationality but also upon their own institutions, creating new norms.

Hyeong-Ki Kwon received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Currently he is a Principal Researcher in the Institute of Korean Political Studies and Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Seoul National University, Korea. His research interests focus on democratic governance of industrial societies, particularly on the creation of new norms and the division of labor in the process of indusrial adjustments in advanced industrial countries, especially in the U.S., Germany, and Japan.

Subject: History (General)
Area: North America Germany


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