almost exclusively to the level of individual workplaces and firms,
the German debate has been more difficult for political players to constrain
and limit. The German programme has relied upon the involvement and
participation of the social partners in a kind of flexi-corporatism of traded
bargains in order to embed restructuring within regulatoryframeworks.
Where we see the formulation of apparently hyperflexible deregulatory
policies, these are subject to the tumult of industrial relations practices, and
are frequently abandoned or moderated beyond recognition. This
The restructuring of work and production in the international political economy
be defined as a kind of interdependent diplomacy
(see Walter, 1998), particularly in terms of the state’s attraction of FDI.
Attention to firm-society relations is similarly confined to a focus on the imperatives of restructuring for lean and flexible productive and working practices.
What are the limitations of this mode of knowledge about the firm? The
idea that the firm has become a new unit of analysis in the study of the world
political economy invokes, paradoxically, similar criticisms to those levelled at
traditional international relations frameworks in
others condemn it), both liberal and neoMarxist theorists share common ground on the extent of global change.
Among the more extreme formulations we read that: ‘The nation-state has
become an unnatural, even dysfunctional, unit for organizing human activity
and managing economic endeavour in a borderless world’ (Ohmae, 1990: 93).
The dissolution of state authority and the rise of marketised frameworks of
authority are presented as imperative transformations in a globalisation
process. Fundamental breaks with the past are staked out and labelled in
diverse ways, though
representation of a deregulated and FDI-attracting
‘model’ has been made possible. Within this question, the first step is to
consider the central dynamics of the meanings that have been attributed to
globalisation in governing British state-society. A unique and particular set of
stories about the ‘global’ arena are told and retold to enable a programme of
hyperflexibility to be perpetuated.
The first significant face of the making of a ‘global Britain’ is, perhaps
paradoxically, one in which government (in the sense of legislative and
regulatory functions) is distanced from