Tag Archives: Marketization

Management and marketization: two new papers

Two new articles have been published by members of the marketization in Europe team, both looking at private-sector management and market change.

The first is by Nick Krachler and Ian Greer and examines the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which sought to privatize health services in England through increased marketization built into commissioning. Drawing on 32 qualitative interviews carried out shortly after the Act, the authors ask when does marketization lead to privatization? They find that the new market structure continues to restrict private sector involvement by, in various ways, frustrating private providers’ attempts to make profits. It has been accepted at Social Science and Medicine.

The second is by Ian Greer and Marco Hauptmeier and examines the ways in which managers in the European auto industry stage competition between plants in order to extract labor concessions. Drawing on interviews and documents covering a 25-year period at three multinationals, the authors identify four different kinds of management whipsawing. They explain variation and change through differing whipsawing capacity built into production systems and overall corporate labor relations strategies. It has been accepted at Industrial and Labor Relations Review.

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Postdoc position on the TEMS project

We are looking for an expert on Central and Eastern Europe for our research project on the consequences of marketization. This is a three-year fixed term position as part of the five-member TEMS team.  Funded by the European Research Council, we use an in-depth qualitative examination of four countries and four sectors to explore the causal links between changes in market structure and increases in inequality. This post is suitable for a qualitative researcher who either holds a PhD or is close to completing one, and who has strong language skills, a strong grounding in one or more strands of theory, and a clear research trajectory. You should have a background in an interdisciplinary field such as industrial relations, European studies, or social policy, or in a relevant sub-discipline within sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, or geography.

The full job advertisement is here: https://jobs.gre.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=439

For more information on our research group please look at our research unit’s blog (werugreenwich.wordpress.com), and if you are interested in applying please get in touch with Ian Greer (i.greer@greenwich.ac.uk).

The totalising market and Marxist theory

What are the connections between the concept of ‘the market’ and Marxist theory? How much power should be attributed to the former by the latter? And what is the relationship between the state and the market? These are the questions considered by Charles Umney in the two articles posted below. In the first, entitled ‘The Totalising Market in Marxist Thought’ he traces two different analyses of ‘the market’ as they have historically appeared in Marxist writing. In one, the market is subordinate to production and can be undermined depending on the strategic actions of capitalists. In the other, it exerts an ‘alien power’ over individuals and society. He argues that in analysing neoliberalism, these aspects need to be interwoven in a multi-level critique of the ‘totalising market’. In the second, he applies this concept to Marxist state theory, arguing that the nature of the totalising market imposes a ‘quasi-rationality’ on the state, obscuring its capacity to make decisions.

The two papers can be downloaded here:

The totalizing market in Marxist thought

The Totalising Market and the Marxist Theory of the State

As these are works in progress and comments and criticisms are welcomed. Please contact c.umney@greenwich.ac.uk