Globalization and Pressure to Conform: Contesting Labor Law Reform in Egypt




Paczynska, Agnieszka

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School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution


“The economic changes brought on by globalization imply a fundamental restructuring of the relationship between the state and society, a transformation that inherently generates conflicts. Everyone has been affected by these changes, but the costs and benefits of integration into the global economy have not been distributed evenly across all social groups. While some have benefited from the changes, others have found themselves struggling to cope in this new environment. Many students of globalization have noted that as economic integration has progressed, the power of capital vis-a.-vis the state as well as vis-a.-vis organized labor has grown. In particular, as capital has become more mobile and the competition to attract this increasingly mobile capital has increased, the set of policy choices available to national governments has shrunk. As national-level policies have become more capital-friendly, the position of trade unions has declined and workers have been caught in a relentless ‘race to the bottom’ -lower wages, lower social spending, and less worker-friendly labor market regulations. “