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Protective repression, international pressure, and institutional design: Explaining labor reform in Indonesia

Abstract

Scholars of comparative politics studying labor reform in developing countries have highlighted variables such as the power of the labor movement, the ordering of reforms, partisan links, and the strength of employer organizations to explain different labor reform outcomes. These variables, however, cannot explain labor’s success in Indonesia, where labor reforms both strengthened labor’s collective rights and defended against flexibilization. Through an analysis of the process of labor reform in Indonesia, this article stresses the impact of the institutional legacies of authoritarianism and the role of two variables overlooked or underemphasized in current studies—international pressure and institutional design.

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Authors

Additional information

Teri L. Caraway is assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has recently published an article inComparative Politics and completed a book manuscript,Engendering Industrialization. Her research interests include gender and comparative politics and the political economy of labor in industrializing countries.

I would like to thank Maria Lorena Cook, Jeremy Gross, Carmelo Noriel, Marsha Pripstein Posusney, Surya Tjandra, Jeffrey Winters, the anonymous reviewers, and the editors for their thoughtful comments and criticisms.

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Caraway, T.L. Protective repression, international pressure, and institutional design: Explaining labor reform in Indonesia. St Comp Int Dev 39, 28–49 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02686281

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Keywords

  • Comparative International Development
  • International Labor Organization
  • International Financial Institution
  • Ministerial Decree
  • Labor Reform