Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

Authors

  • John Smith

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-067-03-2015-07_6

Keywords:

Imperialism, Political Economy, Labor

Abstract

The globalization of production and its shift to low-wage countries is the most significant and dynamic transformation of the neoliberal era. Its fundamental driving force is what some economists call "global labor arbitrage": the efforts by firms in Europe, North America, and Japan to cut costs and boost profits by replacing higher-waged domestic labor with cheaper foreign labor, achieved either through emigration of production ("outsourcing," as used here) or through immigration of workers. Reduction in tariffs and removal of barriers to capital flows have spurred the migration of production to low-wage countries, but militarization of borders and rising xenophobia have had the opposite effect on the migration of workers from these countries—not stopping it altogether, but inhibiting its flow and reinforcing migrants' vulnerable, second-class status.

Published

2015-07-06

Issue

Section

Articles