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Democratization, Economic Liberalization, and Labor Politics: Mexico and Korea

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

This study examines the impact of economic liberalization and democratization on labor politics in Mexico and Korea and the strategies labor has evolved in response to these changes. It begins with an overview of the pre-transition period in the two countries with particular emphasis on the distinct patterns of state-labor relations that emerged in each and their impact on the respective labor movements. The following section focuses on the effects of economic liberalization and democratization on labor and the response of labor in each country. The comparative section identifies and analyzes the similarities and differences in the ways in which economic and political reform has affected the labor movements and compares the strategies of labor. We suggest two sets of factors to explain these effects and differences: the characteristics of the respective labor movements and state-labor relations that had emerged as a result of pre-transition historical developments in the two countries; and the dynamics of the transition process itself, particularly the relative significance, sequence, and timing of political and economic liberalization.


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