Project

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A Global History of Export Processing Zones (1947-2007), continued

Applicant Gerlach Christian
Number 140484
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Historisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline General history (without pre-and early history)
Start/End 01.08.2012 - 31.08.2013
Approved amount 112'207.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
General history (without pre-and early history)
Ethnology

Keywords (10)

World Trade; International Organisations; Capitalism; Gender; Export Processing Zones; Labour; Development; Globalisation; Industrialisation; Global History

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

The worldwide spread of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) is one of the most significant developments in the global trading system after the Second World War. In 2007 there were 3500 zones employing nearly 70 million workers in more than 130 countries (Boyenge 2007).

The following application asks for a two-year extension to an ongoing project in the fields of global history and social anthropology. The project traces how EPZs, intended as a tool for generating export-led industrialisation and national development, came to make up for more than 10 percent of global manufacturing employment in the formal sector. EPZs generate further employment by backward and forward linkages with other economic activities. The workings of EPZs have been and are tensely debated among actors such as corporations, nation-states, international organisations, trade unions, workers and the general public. Taking these factors into account, the global history of EPZs is studied in this project from 1947 until 2007. The central outcome of the proposed two-year extension will be the writing of the first book on the global history of EPZs. This book will describe and analyse how the new social contract formulated and put into effect in EPZs, defining relations between capital, state and labour significantly different from social contracts of upheld within nation-states hosting such zones, became a global issue since the world’s first EPZ was set up in Puerto Rico in 1947.

Work on the ongoing project so far unveils that the global spread of EPZs was and is a pattern of globalisation in its own right (cf. Neveling, under review A). In brief, EPZs were first promoted as part of the Cold War development agenda of the U.S. Truman administration in the late 1940s with the Puerto Rican EPZ as the best-practice showcase. Their spread was facilitated further by the U.S. Kennedy administration in Latin America and Asia (here also by the Tokyo based Asian Productivity Organisation). From the late 1960s to the 1990s, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), promoted the establishment of EPZs in increasingly close collaboration with Irish consultants linked to Shannon EPZ. In Shannon, training workshops for state officials from around the world have been held since the 1970s, with the later Chinese president Jiang Zemin attending in 1980 for example. From the 1980s onward, umbrella organisations of EPZs such as the World Export Processing Zones Association (WEPZA) headed by former UNIDO consultants orchestrated the establishment of EPZs in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and across Africa. China is an exception to this global trajectory. Much larger zones were set up in collaboration with Hong Kong corporations since 1980 and presently Chinese zones employ approximately 40 million workers. 

This history was reconstructed via archival and ethnographic research at the UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, in Ireland, in New York (United Nations) and Washington (a.o. U.S. National Archives), and in Puerto Rico. Before the initial funding period of two years ends, research will be carried out in Puerto Rico, Washington (2011, World Bank), Mauritius and Madagascar (early 2012). During the proposed extension period, research shall be carried out in Indonesia, Hong Kong and China (Shenzhen). EPZ-related activities of trade unions will be studied based on the example of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU, Brussels and Amsterdam). In early 2014, the researcher aims to finish a monograph that will make a significant contribution to the study of the post-1945 global economy regarding the development of theory and empirical research.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Beyond Sites and Methods: The Field, History, Global Capitalism
Neveling Patrick (2016), Beyond Sites and Methods: The Field, History, Global Capitalism, in Coleman Simon, Hyatt Susan, Kingsolver Ann (ed.), Routledge, London, 72-91.
Export Processing Zones and Global Class Formation
Neveling Patrick (2015), Export Processing Zones and Global Class Formation, in Carrier James (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 162-184.
Export processing zones, special economic zones and the long march of capitalist development policies during the Cold War
Neveling Patrick (2015), Export processing zones, special economic zones and the long march of capitalist development policies during the Cold War, in James Leslie (ed.), Bloomsbury Academic, London, 63-84.
Flexible Capitalism and Transactional Orders in Colonial and Postcolonial Mauritius: A Post-Occidentalist View
Neveling Patrick (2015), Flexible Capitalism and Transactional Orders in Colonial and Postcolonial Mauritius: A Post-Occidentalist View, in Kjaerulf Jens (ed.), Berghahn Books, Oxford, New York, 207-234.
Free Trade Zones, Export Processing Zones, Special Economic Zones and Global Imperial Formations 200 BCE to 2015 CE
Neveling Patrick (2015), Free Trade Zones, Export Processing Zones, Special Economic Zones and Global Imperial Formations 200 BCE to 2015 CE, in Ness Immanuel (ed.), Palgrave, Basingstoke, 1007-1016.
Three shades of embeddedness, state capitalism as the informal economy, emic notions of the anti-market and counterfeit garments in the Mauritian export processing zone
Neveling Patrick (2014), Three shades of embeddedness, state capitalism as the informal economy, emic notions of the anti-market and counterfeit garments in the Mauritian export processing zone, in Research in Economic Anthropology, 34(1), 65-94.
A periodisation of globalisation according to the Mauritian integration into the international sugar commodity chain (1825-2005)
Neveling Patrick (2013), A periodisation of globalisation according to the Mauritian integration into the international sugar commodity chain (1825-2005), in Curry-Machado Jonathan (ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (UK), New York, 121-142.
Capital over Labor: Health and Safety in Export Processing Zones Garment Production since 1947
Neveling Patrick, Capital over Labor: Health and Safety in Export Processing Zones Garment Production since 1947, in Prentice Rebecca, de Neve Geert (ed.), University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
Structural contingencies and untimely coincidences in the making of neoliberal India - The Kandla Foreign Trade Zone, 1965-1991
Neveling Patrick, Structural contingencies and untimely coincidences in the making of neoliberal India - The Kandla Foreign Trade Zone, 1965-1991, in Contributions to Indian Sociology, 48(1).
The Making of Neoliberal India (Special Issue, Contributions to Indian Sociology)
Neveling Patrick, Strümpell Christian, Münster Daniel (ed.), The Making of Neoliberal India (Special Issue, Contributions to Indian Sociology), Sage India, New Delhi.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Halle Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department of Social Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Commodities of Empire Project (CoE)/ The Open University, London Metropolitan University Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department of Social Anthropology, Central European University, Budapest Hungary (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Berne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
History of Commodity Chains Network, Cluster of Excellence, University of Konstanz Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Department of Anthropology, Cluster of Excellence C5, University of Heidelberg Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
GlobalUnterwegs Talk given at a conference Zum Dillema permanenter globaler Vernetzung. Entwicklungsstrategien für den Flughafen und die Sonderwirtschaftszone Shannon, 1945 – 2015 22.06.2016 ETH Zurich, Department of Engineering/ Department of History of Technology, Switzerland Neveling Patrick;
The Centre Cannot Hold? Talk given at a conference What Holds the Centre? Panama, Shannon, and the Spectre of Normal Capitalism in Not-So-Special Economic Zones 10.06.2016 University College London/FRINGE Centre, Calvert Gallery London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Neveling Patrick;
Research Colloquium Individual talk Relocating Capitalism: Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones since 1947 08.12.2015 Section for Social and Economic History, Historical Institute, University of Bayreuth, Germany Neveling Patrick;
The Good Years! – Historical Trajectories, 1980 – 2010 Talk given at a conference Penthouse or Pavement? – Post-Heroic Neoliberalism and the Asynchronous Development of Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones since 1947 30.06.2015 ETH Zurich, Monte Verità, Switzerland Neveling Patrick;
Research Colloquium Individual talk Relocating Capitalism: Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones since 1947 11.03.2015 Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria Neveling Patrick;
Research Colloquium Individual talk Turning Modes of Production Right-Side Out. Capitalism as a Many-Headed Hydra/Cornerstones for a Postfictional Historical Anthropolog 09.12.2014 Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Hamburg, Germany Neveling Patrick;
Taxation for and against Redistribution since 1945 Talk given at a conference Export Processing Zones and the Global Decline of Corporate Taxation 06.12.2014 German Historical Institute, Washington DC, United States of America Neveling Patrick;
Research Colloquium Individual talk Relocating Capitalism: Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones since 1947 01.12.2014 Centre for Place, Culture and Politics, Graduate Centre, City University of New York, United States of America Neveling Patrick;
’Connectivity in Motion: New Studies on the World of the Indian Ocean Talk given at a conference Port-Hinterland Connectivities and the Motions of Global Trade: Rooting Contemporary Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones in the Indian Ocean 17.10.2014 Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany Neveling Patrick;
Accounting for "Health" and "Safety" in the Global Garment Industry Talk given at a conference On the globalisation of the textile and garment sector and on the non-globalisation of health and safety standards: A historical anthropology neoliberal labour since 194 26.06.2014 University of Sussex, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Neveling Patrick;
Research Colloquium Individual talk Onomatopoetic or structured comparison: How (not) to write the global history of export processing zones and special economic zone 04.06.2014 University of Leipzig, Germany Neveling Patrick;
Panel: Capitalism and global anthropology: Marxism resurgent Talk given at a conference Introduction Part A: Marxism, anthropology, global capitalism 07.08.2013 IUAES World Congress, University of Manchester, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Neveling Patrick;
Panel: Reconfiguring capitalism, reconfiguring industry, reconfiguring livelihoods Talk given at a conference Reconfiguring "global capitalism" beyond the regulationist approach: The emergence of the global regime of export processing zones and special economic zones after 1945 06.08.2013 IUAES World Congress, University of Manchester, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Neveling Patrick;
Public Lecture Series Individual talk Development Policies and the Making of the Historical Geography of Capitalism before and after 1947 10.07.2013 Centre for Development Research, University of Bonn, Germany Neveling Patrick;
Negotiating Independence: New Directions in the Histories of Decolonisation and the Cold War Talk given at a conference Export Processing Zones and the Making of the Cold War Historical Geography of Capitalism 04.05.2013 LSE IDEAS/Centre of South Asian Studies/Univ. of Cambridge, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Neveling Patrick;
Global vernetzte Akkumulation und Industrieproduktion in Sonderwirtschaftszonen seit 1947 Talk given at a conference Grenzen der Globalisierung 09.02.2013 3rd Swiss Congress of Historical Sciences, Fribourg, Switzerland Neveling Patrick;
The Right to the City, The Right to the State: Rethinking Social Justice in Peace and Conflict Talk given at a conference A Global Right to Cheap Labour? Export Processing Zones/Special Economic Zones and the Historical Geography of Capitalism (1947-2007) 21.09.2012 Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, House of Cooperation, Nikosia, Zypern, Cyprus Neveling Patrick;
Reflexive Area Studies - Space and Area Studies in a Post-Territorial Age Talk given at a conference (How the Historical Geography of Capitalism is Made) Commodity Chains, Export Processing Zones and the Spatial Reconfiguration of the Capitalist World-System after 1947’, 04.09.2012 Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig, Germany Neveling Patrick;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Critical Political Economy Working Group Meeting 08.08.2013 IUAES World Congress, University of Manchester, Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Capitalism and global anthropology: Marxism resurgent 07.08.2013 IUAES World Congress, University of Manchester, Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Open Access Website Patrick Neveling academia.edu International 2012

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
131562 (Re)challenging Norms and Values in (Post-)Socialist Vietnam. Decision Making Strategies within the Hô (Household) and Beyond 01.08.2010 Fellowships for prospective researchers
126642 A Global History of Export Processing Zones (1947-2007) 01.03.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
137456 La griffe de l'État érythréen : surveillance et mobilisation des migrants érythréens en Suisse et auxPays-Bas 01.10.2011 Fellowships for prospective researchers
121611 The emergence of the “crisis of the welfare state”: a social and transnational history (1970s-1980s) 01.04.2009 Ambizione

Abstract

The worldwide spread of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) is one of the most significant developments in the global trading system after the Second World War. In 2007 there were 3500 zones employing nearly 70 million workers in more than 130 countries (Boyenge 2007).The following application asks for an eighteen months extension to an on-going project in the fields of global history and social anthropology. The project traces how EPZs, intended as a tool for generating export-led industrialisation and national development, came to make up for more than 10 per cent of global manufacturing employment in the formal sector. EPZs generate further employment by back-ward and forward linkages with other economic activities. The workings of EPZs have been and are tensely debated among actors such as corporations, nation-states, international organisations, trade unions, workers and the general public. Taking these factors into account, the global history of EPZs is studied in this project from 1947 until 2007. The central outcome of the proposed 1.5-year extension will be the writing of the first book on the global history of EPZs. This book will describe and analyse how the new social contract formulated and put into effect in EPZs, defining relations between capital, state and labour significantly different from social contracts of upheld within nation-states hosting such zones, became a global issue since the world’s first EPZ was set up in Puerto Rico in 1947.Work on the on-going project so far unveils that the global spread of EPZs was and is a pattern of globalisation in its own right (cf. Neveling, under review A). In brief, EPZs were first promoted as part of the Cold War development agenda of the U.S. Truman administration in the late 1940s with the Puerto Rican EPZ as the best-practice showcase. Their spread was facilitated further by the U.S. Ken-nedy administration in Latin America and Asia (here also by the Tokyo based Asian Productivity Or-ganisation). From the late 1960s to the 1990s, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisa-tion (UNIDO), promoted the establishment of EPZs in increasingly close collaboration with Irish con-sultants linked to Shannon EPZ. In Shannon, training workshops for state officials from around the world have been held since the 1970s, with the later Chinese president Jiang Zemin attending in 1980 for example. From the 1980s onward, umbrella organisations of EPZs such as the World Export Pro-cessing Zones Association (WEPZA) headed by former UNIDO consultants orchestrated the estab-lishment of EPZs in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and across Africa. China is an exception to this global trajectory. Much larger zones were set up in collaboration with Hong Kong corporations since 1980 and presently Chinese zones employ approximately 40 million workers. This history was reconstructed via archival and ethnographic research at the UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, in Ireland, in New York (United Nations) and Washington (a.o. U.S. National Archives), and in Puerto Rico. Before the initial funding period of two years ends, research will be carried out in Puerto Rico, Washington (2011, World Bank), Mauritius and Madagascar (early 2012). During the proposed extension period, research shall be carried out in Indonesia, Hong Kong and China (Shen-zhen). EPZ-related activities of trade unions will be studied based on the example of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU, Brussels and Amsterdam). In early 2014, the researcher aims to finish a monograph that will make a significant contribution to the study of the post-1945 global economy regarding the development of theory and empirical research.
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