Labour Market Deregulation In Japan And Italy: Worker Protection Under Neoliberal Globalization

TitleLabour Market Deregulation In Japan And Italy: Worker Protection Under Neoliberal Globalization
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWatanabe, Hiroaki
CityNew York
Keywordsglobalization, Italy, Japan, labour market deregulation, neoliberal globalization, neoliberalism, worker protection

Japan and Italy encountered severe economic problems in the early 1990s, and the governments had to deal with those issues effectively under the increasing neoliberal pressures of globalization. In this context, labor market deregulation was considered an effective tool to cope with those economic problems. However, the forms and degrees of labor market deregulation in the two countries were quite different.This book seeks to explain the differences in labor market deregulation policies between Japan and Italy, despite the fact that the two countries shared a number of similar political, social and labor market (if not cultural) characteristics. Uniquely, it takes a political, rather than economic or sociological perspective to provide a theoretical and empirical analysis of the processes of labor market deregulation in the two countries. The precarious working conditions of an increasing number of non-regular workers has become a prominent social issue in many industrialized countries including Japan and Italy, but the level of the protection for these workers depends on a country’s labor market policies, which are affected by the power resources of labor unions and labor policy-making structures. This book provides a useful perspective for understanding the root causes of this phenomenon, such as the diffusion of ‘neoliberal’ ideas aimed at promoting labor-market flexibility under globalization, and demonstrates that there is still room for politics to decide the extent of deregulation and maintain worker protection from management offensives even in an era of globalization.