Comparative and Historical Sociology
Organizations, Markets, and Work
My current research interests fall into a couple broad categories.
Global commodity chains and national development: This project focuses on the new characteristics of the global manufacturing system that has emerged during the past several decades. In particular, the rapid growth of manufactured exports form Third World nations is based on increasingly complex production and export networks and an unprecedented degree of geographical specialization. I am researching the diverse kinds of commercial and industrial subcontracting relationships that have led to new patterns of economic organization and global sourcing in four industries: garments, footwear, automobiles, and computers. My research is mainly dealing with East Asian nations, Mexico and the Caribbean, and their exports to the U.S. market. I am also looking at the networks between garment contractors, manufacturers, and retailers in Los Angeles and New York City on the basis of recent interviews and survey analysis. Many of these issues are addressed in my coedited book (with Miguel Korzeniewicz), Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism (Praeger, 1994).
Development strategies in Latin America and East Asia: This crossregional project focuses primarily on the newly industrializing countries (NICs) in these two regions, especially Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan. The issues I explore include the following: Are there distinctive development models or sequences for the Latin American and Asian NICs? What role has state intervention played in the economic growth of these countries in the last several decades? What is the relative importance of and interplay between domestic sociopolitical factors and international factors in shaping the development outcomes observed in individual countries? What are the distributional and equity implications of these different patterns of industrial growth? These topics are addressed in my coedited book (with Donald Wyman), Manufacturing Miracles: Paths of Industrializations in Latin America and East Asia, (Princeton University Press, 1990.)