Boy Lüthje | Why no Fordism in China? Regimes of Accumulation and Regimes of Production in Chinese Manufacturing Industries
Why no Fordism in China?
Regimes of Accumulation and Regimes of Production in Chinese Manufacturing Industries
IfS Working Paper #3
This paper examines the connections between the changing growth models of key industries in China and the regulation of work at shop-floor and industry levels. Referring to variety of capitalism theories and to regulation theory, the paper develops an interpretative framework for the analysis of sector-specific accumulation regimes in China’s core manufacturing industries. Workplace relations are analyzed with reference to a typology of production regimes derived from recent empirical research. The regimes of accumulation in the automobile, information electronics, and textile and garment industries and the underlying production models and segmentations of produc-tion networks are examined. The paper explores how increasingly differentiated regimes of production in core industrial sectors shape the strategies of restructuring in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis 2008-09, how these strategies result in new segmentations of the workforce, and why substantial reforms in the Chinese industrial relations system are on the agenda.
This paper has been written in the context of the joint research project of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the East-West Center, Honolulu, “Rebalancing China’s emergent capitalism - Socio-economic regulation in the wake of the global economic crisis”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The paper presents key theoretical concepts of this project and develops a conceptual perspective for the main phase of empirical research to be carried out in key industrial regions in China in 2013.