Occupational Rights and New Employment Regimes in Emergent Economies

Editorial Introductionto Special Issue on Latin America, Social Policy and Administration40:4, August 2006.

With Maria Cook, “Occupational Rights and New Employment Regimes in Emergent Economies,” Policy Studies 26:2, June 2005. 

“This article looks at the interaction between states and labour representation in the surfacing of new economic rights in emergent economies (EEs). Economic liberalisation in the 1980s and 1990s profoundly changed the governance of labour markets in EEs. The division between formal and informal sectors was blurred as employment shifts became more frequent and volatile. A traditional site-based approach to conceptualising employment problems is no longer tenable given this fundamental shift. A clearer conception of the relationship between public policy and labour institutions is needed that proceeds from an understanding of how core (both formal and less formal) institutions are linked, through labour law, welfare schemes and labour relations. In this article we assess the cases of four EEs where economic pressures have been relatively dramatic – Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Korea – and compare their political and institutional outcomes. This approach allows us to categorise the problems of market governance associated with the transition from ‘traditional’ (firm-based) to ‘new’ (labour market or society-centred) rights in terms of alternative employment regimes with distinct implications for economic efficiencies and individual freedom.”