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Vol. 8 The Journal of Social Policy and Labor Studies (Shakai-seisaku Gakkai shi)


HOME > PUBLICATIONS > Early Journals > The Journal of Social Policy and Labor Studies (Shakai-seisaku Gakkai shi) (1999-2007)

The Possibilities of Social Policy in the Age of Globalization and Regional Integration


In this article the author briefly analyses economic globalization with regard to trade, production and finance.  The analysis shows that globalization is realized only in the financial market.  Economic globalization originates from the collapse of the Bretton Woods regime and the end of economic growth in the 1970s.  The process of economic globalization can be regarded as a transnational neoliberal project of dominant states, international organizations and multinational corporations aiming to overcome the crisis of the postwar global economic regime.  Under the influence of economic globalization as well as market and financial integration, the meaning of social policy in Europe has changed radically.  Within the framework of the active supply-side policy adopted by the European Commission in the 1990s, social policy is regarded as an instrument that enhances the economic competitiveness of European nations.  What is required then is a perspective in which we can find the inherent meanings and logic of social policy, which are irreducible to those of industrial or economic policy.



Globalization and Foreign IT Workers


Globalization in the world economy has been driven by IT revolution during the last decade of the 20th century.  IT technology-driven globalization in the world economy brings with it new labor issues and importantly influences immigration policy. As the developing IT revolution in the world progress in IT industries and an increase in IT employment, it takes the international mobilization of IT workers among the worldwide IT industries they work.

This paper will focus on revealing the state of foreign IT workers in the U.S. from the view of international mobilization of labor.  Especially we will focus on short-stay IT workers with H-1B visas.



Globalization and Labor Policy as well as Organized Labor in Indonesia

With Reference to Types of Capital Transfer and Deyo’s Theory


The impact of globalization on Indonesian trade unions and government policies was studied with reference to the types of capital transfer involved.  In one type of foreign direct investment in which strict conditions were imposed upon the capital including its Indonesianization, the government controlled the trade union tightly and produced a system of exclusionary corporatism.  In another type that occurred at the beginning of overall trade liberalization when foreign direct investment was permitted without the necessity of Indonesianization of capital, military involvement in and corporate control of trade unions was legalized.  However, international organizations criticized this system and threatened trade sanctions. The Government had to respond to this criticism and made some revisions of its policy.  Financial liberalization, including short-term capital transfers, made the Soeharto regime fragile in the face of the impact of the Monetary Crisis, and with the fall of the Soeharto Administration, the government recognized the right to organize and made a law protecting trade unions.

This paper examines Deyo’s theory that the weakness of East Asian countries’ labor movements is due to the preponderance of young women in the labor force and the use of paternalistic tendencies within the bureaucracy and community as a base of the employer’s control.  According to the result of this field survey, many of today’s trade unions have not been interrupted by the local community; on the contrary, they have made use of the local community as a network base.  Moreover, young women workers dominate many active unions.  So this paper concludes that Deyo’s theory couldn’t be applied to today’s Indonesian labor movement.  Some antagonistic employers, however, have made use not only of the company’s hierarchy but also of gangsters to interrupt the union’s activities.  These attitudes have become contemporary sources of labor unrest and reflect the present weakness of law enforcement.



Challenges for Public Policy and Regulatory Reform to Cope with Globalization in the 21st Century

Yasushi IGUCHI

With the establishment of the World Trade Organization, the trends for globalization of economies seem to have been confirmed by the majority of countries in the world.  In reality, trade disputes between economies are increasing and the discriminatory effects caused by regional integration of economies also expand. Especially in Asia, concerns for instability of the financial sector, the negative effects of trade liberalization in the AFTA, the severe competition since the admission of China to the WTO and the “brain drain” to North America and Europe are increasing.  In addition, industrialized economies face the growing risks of declining and/or aging population, which will not be easily compensated by allowing massive immigration inflows to these economies.  Japan should take the initiative in East Asia to promote regional integration and minimize the negative outcomes of globalization through integrating labor policy and social security policy as well as to renew the basic paradigm of the foreign worker policy in order to train, accept and integrate them.



The Policy for Homeless People in Germany

Yoshiko SAGA

This article describes the trends in public policy for homeless people in Germany in recent years.  The policy has mainly been implemented under the Federal Social Assistance Law and carried out by municipalities and NPOs.  Municipalities avert risks of homelessness by taking over non-payment of rent for people facing such a danger.  NPOs provide homeless people with various services based on the subsidies from the Federal Social Assistance Law.  Firstly, there are services for these who are literally homeless-those sleeping rough or in night shelters. These are called low threshold services, because people can use them anonymously without complicated applications.  Secondly, support is provided in self-contained housing-not in a shelter-for formerly homeless people.

An important point is that these policies have certainly led to a reduction in the number of homeless people.

In Japan, support is mainly provided for the elderly homeless or handicapped homeless in shelters or hospitals.

The German example of support provided for the homeless contains many attributes which should be studied by Japan.



The Problem of Homeless People and Rough Sleepers in Britain


The homeless problem in Britain has been tackled as a big social problem since 1970’s.  The legal grounds of homeless measures in Britain have been established by the Housing Act (1977).

Since the later half of 80’s, rough sleepers, which were a one form of single homeless which was apt to be left out of priority need as prescribed by Housing Act, became a social problem. Special measures for rough sleepers have been executed.

The Labour government established the Social Exclusion Unit in 1997, and this unit considered rough sleepers as part of the tip of social exclusion.  And Labour established the Rough Sleepers Unit to solve this problem in 1999.  The target of this Unit is to reduce rough sleepers by at least two thirds by March 2002.  This unit has carried out a strategy to help rough sleepers.

The aim of this paper is to introduce the present conditions of rough sleepers which are a type of single homeless and a strategy of central government for rough sleepers.  Firstly, I examine the definition of homeless in the Housing Act and statutory homeless.  Secondly, I consider the single homeless problem and a strategy of the Rough Sleepers Unit.  Thirdly, I mention the outline of social security system, e.g. income support, in order to understand a strategy for homeless people.



Family-friendly Companies and Child Care Policy


In the process of creating a gender equal society in Japan, the western “family-friendly” concept has been introduced, and more Japanese companies are now trying such family-friendly programs.  This is a step away from the conventional Japanese work environment and conditions; however, the question arises whether such a family-friendly concept is totally new and has never existed in Japan.  This paper considers this question in the introductory section, describing the current definition of the “family-friendly” concept.  Then, Section Ⅱ speculates on the family-friendly concept with regard to the Japanese employment systems in the high economic growth period; it proposes the existence of a “Japanese-style family-friendly policy,” which protected the entire household at a price :  corporations demanded long working hours from male employees and either unpaid labor or peripheral work from women.  Section Ⅲ examines the family-friendly concept in the United States, where the continuous employment rate for women is higher than that of Japan.  This section demonstrates the case studies of American companies Patagonia and Johnson & Johnson, which are known as family-friendly companies.  Section IV discusses the current Japanese child care situation, exploring what corporate support programs could help to solve the existing problems of child care, and suggests certain family-friendly policies that Japan may take in the future.  This is followed by the conclusion in Section V, which proposes a new type of western family-friendliness in Japanese society.



The Substitute Personnel Problem in Childcare Leave Programs


The focus of the issue of childcare leave, which forms the pillar of family-friendly policies, has shifted to actual adoption of the system in the workplace.  The two problems of finding substitutes and the specific handling procedures for such substitute personnel in the workplace, are considered in terms of the results from two hearings. Two methods are in operation:  share method and forward rotation.

The former involves the apportioning of a slightly increased volume of work among co-workers.  The latter resembles a chain-reaction, wherein existing employees are shunted forward when an individual takes childcare leave.  If a female employee takes childcare leave, responsibility for her work passes into the hands of the man or women immediately below her, that individual’s work in turn being taken on by the person below them and so on.  The former method will yield increased productivity in the short term, but the latter is considered to be superior in the long term.



The Economic Consequences of Family Friendly Practices

Yasunobu TOMITA

Recent evidence, including this study, suggests that family-friendly practices, such as parental leave and flexible work schedules, enable more women to stay in the workplace after childbirth.  This study investigates whether adopting parental leave induces firms to recruit more or fewer women.  The effects of parental leave on recruitment behavior depend on whether firms have promoted women to management or not.  The results suggest that firms with female managers recruit more women, but firms with male managers only recruit less women.  According to the human capital theory, firms that fully invest in human capital for women gain a higher return from women’s longer tenure with parental leave, and, thus, recruit more women.  Moreover, regardless of gender, employees’ feeling of attachment to their firms is increased not only by satisfaction with work worth doing, but also by satisfaction with balancing work and family.  Finally, it is found that women and men are both eager to leave the workplace where women have often suffered from sexual harassment.  Adopting family friendly practices and preventing sexual harassment are important policies for improving women’s economic status.  Those policies improve men’s well-being in the workplace as well.