From a “consensus” to a “disorganized” model of Japanese capitalism: the emergence of new forms of labour activism

Shibata, Saori (2015). From a “consensus” to a “disorganized” model of Japanese capitalism: the emergence of new forms of labour activism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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The coordination between the socio-economic institutions which constituted the post-war model of Japanese capitalism has been continuously undermined from the 1990s onward. This include the move by firms to focus on their own individual goals and by the state to support individualistic behaviour by introducing deregulation and liberalization and by enabling firms to compete freely in the market. There is a lack of coordination between the government and unions, and between corporations and unions. The coordinated model of Japanese capitalism has therefore transformed into a more disorganized model. Event data analysis adopted in this study demonstrates that this transformation was also accompanied by heightening social tension and class antagonism, which were expressed through increasingly non-institutionalized acts of contestations and by newly emerging agents such as community unions, NPOs and non-regular workers. Adopting a class-conflict version of Regulation Theory, this thesis argues that the disorganized model of Japanese capitalism is characterised by a contradictory accumulation regime which consists of low economic growth and corporate profit, led by increasing level of public and household debt, declining wage shares and declining union density, and accompanied by the emergence of new forms of labour activism.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform


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