Some news on the academic front

images4I don’t talk too much here about my academic work but I do get asked about it from time to time so I thought I would update King Harvest readers. My general interest is in the impact of globalization on political and financial institutions. I am generally of the view that globalization is a very much more problematic process than is widely believed. I am also working closely with Jennifer Kuan at Stanford’s Institute of Economic Policy Research on institutional structures in our financial markets

First off, I have just put the finishing touches on a book, From Che to China: Labor and Authoritarianism in the New Global Economy. It will be issued by Vandeplas Publishing, an independent legal publisher, in the next month or so.  It argues that the decline in industrial relations institutions such as collective bargaining in the advanced economies emerges just as globalization is posing critical questions of industrial relations in many new parts of the world such as Asia and eastern Europe. Unfortunately, authoritarian forms of labor organization are now being seen increasingly rather than support for the traditional democratic trade union.  The book examines the question from several different angles and includes case studies as well as theoretical analysis.  And I also attempt to point to alternative approaches for labor organizations.  As soon as its up on Amazon I will let people know. Meanwhile you can read the chapter on Che Guevara here.

My work with Jennifer Kuan is progressing very nicely. We argue that the privatization of the NYSE through its 2006 IPO was actually damaging to the capital markets. The Old NYSE was actually a kind of socialistic entity – a mutual benefit corporation owned and governed by its members. That actually led to good things (for capitalism of course) and was quite stable. We made a preliminary argument in a law journal article we published in the Spring 2007 issue of the Duquesne Business Law Journal.  You can find a working paper version here.

Now we have actual data and have been presenting it at various conferences, including the ISNIE meetings at UC Berkeley and a conference sponsored by the Sloan Foundation in Chicago.  We presented a revised version again at IOFest at Berkeley a few days ago. We should have it in working paper shape soon and will post it to SSRN.  My SSRN page is here.

I have just recently finished another paper called Beyond Berle and Means: Private Equity and the New Capitalist Order which will appear as a book chapter in a collection called The Embedded Firm edited by Peer Zumbansen of York’s Osgoode Hall and Cynthia Williams of the University of Illinois (who just finished a two year visit at Osgoode).  A major British academic press is thought to be our publisher if all goes well.  The book grew out of one of the best conferences I have attended recently organized by Osgoode in February of 2008 (maybe it was great because I found out while I was up there that my wife was pregnant with our first child!).  I also presented the paper this summer in Paris at the SASE meetings (that’s Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics).  That was also a great event and our panel was very lively. An early version of the paper can be found here. A shorter and livelier version was published by Dissent magazine as well for whom I write occasionally. That piece led to some interesting reactions from European labor folks, some liked it while others were upset at my concern about what I called the “populist” nature of their attack on private equity.

Another project is a book on the Equal Rights Amendment just in the final stages and to be issued by an independent press called the Center for Socialist History in Berkeley. I co-authored that with the late Hal Draper – an earlier version was finished but never published. In light of the very wide gulf today between arguments about gender and class today I think it will make a very useful contribution to the debate.

That’s it for now. Feel free to visit my law school home page for occasional updates and of course I will report on significant items here from time to time.