Book Launch: Global Production, National Institutions, and Skill Formation

LDN104, Loughborough University London Campus and Online

Marius Busemeyer (Konstanz), Christel Lane (Cambridge) and Ben Schneider (MIT) will discuss Merve Sancak’s new book by Oxford University Press on the skill formation systems in Mexico and Turkey.

Dr Merve Sancak's book Global Production, National Institutions, and Skill Formation: The Political Economy of Training and Employment in Auto Parts Suppliers from Mexico and Turkey provides an in-depth analysis about the multidimensional factors that affect skill formation practices in automotive supplier firms from Mexico and Turkey, and the implications of these practices for the countries' development prospects. It is based on a multi-level analysis of institutions, governance structures in global value chains, and firm-level recruitment and training practices; and draws from 128 interviews with auto parts producers and various stakeholders including the representatives from ministries, industry associations and labour unions.

Professor Ben Ross SchneiderProfessor Christel Lane and Professor Marius Busemeyer, leading scholars in the fields of comparative political economy of development, skill formation, and institutional analysis, will discuss the book. Professor Gregory Jackson will chair the panel.

Marius Busemeyer

Marius R. Busemeyer is a Full Professor of Political Science with a focus on Comparative Political Economy at the University of Konstanz.

His research focuses on comparative political economy and welfare state research, education and social policy, public spending, theories of institutional change and, more recently, public opinion on the welfare state.

Professor Busemeyer’s research has led to several leading publications. His recent books include A loud, but noisy signal? Public opinion and education reform in Western Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Skills and Inequality: Partisan Politics and the Political Economy of Education Reforms in Western Welfare States (Cambridge University Press, 2015) (Winner of the 2015 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research), an edited volume (with Christine Trampusch) The Political Economy of Collective Skill Formation (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Prior to Konstanz, he worked as a senior researcher with Wolfgang Streeck and Kathleen Thelen at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. He held visiting professor and fellowships at the Center for European Studies at Harvard, the WZB Berlin, the Nuffield College at Oxford, the Department for Economics at University of Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and the Amsterdam Center for Inequality Studies (AMCIS). He received two major grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG)’s Emmy Noether program and the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant scheme.

Christel Lane

Christel Lane is Emeritus Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge. She is a Fellow of St. John’s College.

Professor Lane’s earlier work was in the area of economic sociology, and engaged with the comparative study of varieties of capitalism, focusing particularly on the economy and society of Germany, Britain, France, and the USA. Since around 2010, Christel has worked on cuisine in both high-end restaurants and pubs. She has focused on the organisational and cultural aspects of high-end dining and on the careers of chefs. She is currently completing a book manuscript together with Dr Pilar Opazo entitled: ‘Global Tastes: Reverse Cultural Globalization of High-End Cuisine’. The book focuses on cuisines and their chefs from largely non-European societies who have recently opened high-end restaurants in the global cities of London and New York.

Her list of publications includes ten books (single-authored monographs, one joint publication and two jointly edited books) and twenty-six articles in refereed journals. Among her more recent books are From Taverns to Gastropubs: Food, Drink, and Sociality in England (Oxford University Press, 2018), The Cultivation of Taste. Chefs and the Organization of Fine Dining (Oxford University Press, 2014), Capitalist Diversity and Diversity within Capitalism (edited with Geoffrey Wood, Routledge, 2012), National Capitalisms, Global Production Networks. Fashioning the value chain in the UK, USA and Germany (with Jocelyn Probert, Oxford University Press, 2009).

Ben Ross Schneider

Ben Ross Schneider is the Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT Chile program.

Professor Schneider's teaching and research interests fall within the general fields of comparative politics, political economy, and Latin American politics. His current research projects include a broader comparative analysis of the politics of education reform in middle income countries with a special theoretical focus on the roles of teacher unions and business. Other projects focus on business politics, innovation policies, and inequality in Latin America.

Professor Schneider has published widely internationally renowned platforms. His books include New Order and Progress: Democracy and Development in Brazil (Oxford University Press, 2016), Designing Industrial Policy in Latin America: Business-Government Relations and the New Developmentalism (2015), Hierarchical Capitalism in Latin America: Business, Labor, and the Challenges of Equitable Development (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Business Politics and the State in 20th Century Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2004), and Reinventing Leviathan: The Politics of Administrative Reform in Developing Countries (2003).

Schneider's research has been supported by the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, the Searle Foundation, the Kellogg Institute, the Heinz Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, and the Inter-American Foundation. Schneider also has a strong interest in contemporary policy debates and has consulted for the Ford Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Global Development Network, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Research (UNRISD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the governments of Brazil and the United States.

The event will be hybrid: in person at Loughborough University London Campus and on Zoom. The Zoom link will be shared with those registering on Eventbrite. Information about how to get to campus can found here.

Book synopsis

Many middle-income countries (MICs) that saw rapid growth in the 1990s and 2000s have been facing the danger of remaining in the 'middle-income trap' unless they shift from labour-intensive, low value-added production to higher value-added activities that require more advanced skills. Intermediate skills and vocational education and training (VET) systems that generate these skills are critical for addressing the challenges for MICs in achieving high-road development.

This book examines the skill systems in Mexico and Turkey, with a focus on auto parts producers, and the implications of these systems for these countries' development. It adopts a multi-layered understanding of the term 'skill system', which comprises firm-level hiring and training practices as well as the national and global dynamics that influence these practices. Drawing on discussions around globalization and the convergence of economic activity vs. national institutions and divergence, as well as interviews with auto parts producers and stakeholders of the skill systems, the book examines how the participation of local firms in global supply chains and these firms' institutional environment affect the firm-level skilling practices. It highlights key differences in the role of the state in the skills systems of Mexico and Turkey and investigates the implications of skilling practices for the high/low-road development prospects of both nations.

"Global Production, National Institutions, and Skill Formation makes a significant contribution to the literature on skilling systems. It should be essential reading for researchers and graduate students pursuing this topic. Labor relations scholars will also find much of value in Sancak's multilevel analysis informed by ideas drawn from several literatures." - Stephen J. Frenkel, ILR Review

For more information on the book, click here.

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