Doctoral thesis
Open access

Logics of Liberalization under Contemporary Coordinated Capitalism – Japan's Trajectory of Socio-economic Institutional Change

ContributorsHeeb, Stefan
Defense date2020-03-27

In this thesis, I ask the empirical question how Japan, an important case of coordinated capitalism, has “liberalized” (socio-economically) since the neoliberal policy turn in the 1980s, and address the underlying theoretical challenge that I label the “social-scientific problem of liberalization”. In order to solve this challenge, I attempt to rescue, rather than debunk, the notion of liberalization along with the ambition to link it to the purported diversity of its sub-phenomena (deregulation, privatization, welfare retrenchment, etc.), but with tenable underlying assumptions (liberalization as a transformation rather than a removal of something), with higher conceptual precision (a transformation of an institution's mode of coordination towards the pole liberality), and with improved empirical applicability (an empirically-derived framework of logics of liberalization). Empirically, embedded in comparisons of Japan with the cases of France and Germany, I show that not only there was little to “liberalize” in Japan in certain dimensions outside capital relations, but that in addition in other dimensions like labour commodification a certain stratified relational normativity has crucially limited and shaped neoliberal structural reforms.

  • Liberalization
  • Comparative capitalism
  • Coordinated capitalism
  • Socio-economic institutional change
  • Japan
  • Socio-economic institutions
  • Capitalism
Citation (ISO format)
HEEB, Stefan. Logics of Liberalization under Contemporary Coordinated Capitalism – Japan’s Trajectory of Socio-economic Institutional Change. 2020. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:136335
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