Globalization and Migrant Workers
Globalization and Migrant Domestic Workers Who cares? Name: E. L. Hamming Student number: 1159666 Master: International and European Law University of Groningen Faculty of Law Supervisor: dr. P. C. J. H. M. Rusman Department: Legal Theory Section: Political Science June 5th 2007 Acknowledgments I would like to thank Sjoukje Botman, Marina de Regt and Sarah van Walsum for their time and energy.
We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!
Your work, thoughts and knowledge have helped me to stay motivated and finish this project. Thank you. v Globalization & Migrant Domestic Workers Acknowledgements 1 1. 1 1. 2 1. 3 2. 2. 1 2. 2 2. 2. 1 2. 2. 2 2. 3 2. 3. 1 2. 3. 2 2. 4 2. 4. 1 2. 4. 2 2. 5 3. 3. 1 3. 2 3. 2. 1 3. 2. 2 3. 2. 3 3. 3 3. 3. 1 3. 3. 2 3. 3. 3 Globalization & Migrant Domestic Workers Introduction Thesis Outline What we do, How we think & Who we are Introduction ‘What we do’ What is globalization?
Globalization as neo-liberal restructuring ‘How we think’ Globalization theories Main positivist and post-positivist approaches ‘Who we are’ Globalization and identity formation Techno Muscular Capitalism and its intimate other Summary A Relational Thinking Approach to Neo-Liberal Restructuring Introduction Relational Thinking Criticism towards mainstream theories Feminisms RPV-framing & Triad analytics Neo-liberal restructuring Privatization, deregulation and cutbacks in public spending Informalization, flexibilization and commodification A growing demand for migrant domestic services 1 5 6 8 8 8 8 12 15 15 17 22 22 24 28 30 30 30 30 34 46 40 40 43 44 vi 3. 4 3. 4. 1 3. 4. 2 3. 4. 3 3. 4. 4 3. 5 4. 4. 1 4. 2 4. 2. 1 4. 2. 2 4. 2. 3 4. 2. 4 4. 3 4. 3. 1 4. 3. 2 4. 4 4. 4. 1 4. 4. 2 4. 4. 3 4. 5 5.
Migrant domestic services Domestic labor Private and informal The state and migration policies Economic value and social attitudes Summary The Dutch market for domestic services Introduction Paid and unpaid labor in Dutch households The division between paid and unpaid labor within the household Growing formal labor market participation Unpaid labor by men Social attitudes Outsourcing domestic labor State policy and the family Outsourcing MDWs on the Dutch market for domestic services Obstructions and expectations Changes and blind spots MDWs in the Netherlands?
Summary Conclusion 47 47 48 51 53 58 61 61 61 61 64 68 69 72 72 73 82 82 84 87 91 94 Glossary Bibliography 98 99 vii 1. Globalization & Migrant Domestic Workers 1. 1 Introduction Globalization is the “buzz-word” of our time. 1 Within decades it has become a widely known term and impossible to avoid. Everyone has their own opinion about what it is and it is used wherever and whenever it suits the one who uses it.
Globalization is associated with McDonalds, Coca-Cola, poverty, wealth, the environment, a decline of the state, the demise of traditional cultures, the rise of information technology and the Internet. Some people think of globalization as immense, unstoppable and inevitable; others consider it exaggerated, a hype or even a myth. Some say it is new, others claim it is old. Debates around globalization vary from debates about its existence, nature, scope, scale and cause to debates about the role of the state and the role of civil society.
Growing complexity and growing connectivity are effects that are widely visible and widely recognized, but the effect of globalization on the distribution of wealth, health and power is far less agreed upon just the effects of globalization on governance, security and democracy. And finally, when more or less agreed upon its existence, nature and scale, there are people in favor, people strongly opposed (anti-globalization movements) and people arguing for a different kind of globalization (other-globalization movements).
On the one hand positive images of intensive cooperation between countries and the arise of world citizenship and wealth for all in the future are presented, on the other hand are double standards in trade rules, the continuously broadening of the gap between rich and poor states and within, increasing environment degradation and urban pollution, the increase of migration and a growing market in drugs, weapons and sex-tourism just some of the features that would alter this vision.
While these effects of globalization (or, to put it more carefully, ‘in an era of globalization’) are widely recognized and widely studied, the effects of globalization on women are less known. Globalization and women The effects on women are also two sided. On the one hand the past decades have brought women greater freedom and economic independence through higher education levels, 1 Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 3; Scholte 1996 p. 44. 1 growing labor market participation and the changed view on women and their position in society and the family that preceded as well as followed this change. On the other hand ‘globalization is a man’ as globalization is described by Horgan in one of her articles, which refers to the disproportionate effects of globalization policies on women as public services are cut and women are expected to ‘fill up’ the need for care of children, the elderly and the sick while also performing their paid job. 3 Such double burdens can withhold or withdraw women from the formal labor market, force them to choose between a job and a family or bare the burden of doing both at the same time. This is where my interest in globalization and women began.
That globalization has contra-dictionary and highly disputable effects is proven very easily. But to see that these effects of globalization contradict within one and the same person as she is pulled and pushed to leave the house through changing gender and family roles and pro-active government policies while at the same time pushed and pulled to stay at home and ‘take up the slack’ arose my interest in globalization and women and the role women have within the globalization process. The past decades women have entered the formal (paid) labor market in increasing numbers.
Apparently more and more women either cope with caring and cleaning while at the same time performing their paid job or there is a solution found to ‘solve’ this double burden. Apart from all possible solutions to solve these contradictionary effects of globalization on women, one solution that for different reasons and in different ways has existed throughout history and throughout the world is to let someone else do the cleaning- and care work they would otherwise have had to do themselves or would have had to fight about.
To hire someone for domestic work is one option but it is not new. The difference is that today an increasing amount of women travel large distances and they travel independently in order to find work in the private sphere of the household. While women used to migrate alongside their husbands or through family reunification today a growing amount of women is moving ‘on their own’. This trend is part of what Castles identified as the feminization of labor migration. 4 Jacqueline Andall underlines the independency of these women and refers to this trend as 2 3 Scholte 2000, p. 51. Horgan 2001 p. 1. 4 Castles & Miller 1998, p. 9; Kofman e. a. 2000, p. 21; OECD Report 2001, p. 27. 2 ‘growing female single-sex migration’. 5 As female migrants overwhelmingly take up work as maids, domestics or nannies, cleaning, taking care of the elderly, the sick and/or children Bridget Anderson and others call this part of the feminization of labor migration labor performed by Migrant Domestic Workers. These Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) perform domestic labor in the private sphere of the household and are, overwhelmingly but not exclusively, women. Anderson states that domestic work is the largest employment sector for migrant women workers entering the European Union today. 7 Globalization and a growing amount of Migrant Domestic Workers While most scholars agree that ‘globalization’ and the advances in communication and transportation technology is what caused the increase and change in labor migration and its composition since the 1970s, I wondered what it is about globalization that causes this growing amount of migrant domestic workers as part of the feminization of labor migration. When recognized that women perform (unpaid) labor in the household as care providers and managing other household tasks it seems inevitable and no surprise that a growing participation on the formal labor market by these women creates a demand for domestic work. But is it really that simple? Why, for example, does this create a demand for migrants and why female migrants? And what does globalization has to do with it?
Since apparently globalization causes an increase and change in labor migration and its composition in general, what is it about globalization then that causes an increasing amount of migrant domestic workers traveling the world independently in order to find work in the domestic sphere of the household? And what does this tell us about domestic work? Analyzing globalization I order to answer these questions I had to find out what globalization is and how it is analyzed.
I soon discovered that despite the different definitions of globalization there are 5 6 Andall 2006. Hochschild 2002, p. 19 and 20; Anderson 2000, p. 108. 7 Anderson 2000, p. 1. 8 Castles & Miller 1998, p. 78; UN General Assembly Report 2006, p. 5 punt A. 1; Peterson 2003, p. 65. 3 processes, subjects and characteristics of globalization on which there seems to be some sort of agreement whether agreeing on the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of the consequences of these processes, subjects and haracteristics or not. But analyzing globalization seemed more complex than giving a definition. As Scholte puts it, “given [the] crucial importance of explanation, it is surprising – and disappointing – to find that existing research on globalization has given this matter comparatively little importance”. 9 The multitude of definitions and categorizations of globalization have avoided questions of explanation or left their theoretical perspective implicit.
Any of the main schools of social and political theory offers different explanations on globalization but most theorization about globalization is done by scholars of the social sciences, especially economics, sociology, politics and International Relations. 10 Scholte distinguishes six main types of theories: liberalism, political realism, Marxism, constructivism, postmodernism and feminism with their different opinions on governance, structures, subjects, identities, knowledge, power and interests and on what the key actors and central issues of globalization are.
Within these theories a broad distinction can be made between ‘positivist’ and ‘post-positivist’ approaches to globalization. As I read the different theories on globalization I discovered that mainstream theories and interpretations of globalization are economic or political and tied to positivist assumptions. Can these kinds of theories explain a growing amount of migrant domestic workers traveling the world independently in order to find work in the private sphere of the household? 9 10 Scholte 2005, p. 121. Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. ; Scholte 2005, p. 121 and 122. 4 1. 2 Thesis I am of the opinion that today’s most developed form of globalization (economic corporate globalization) could not have happened without a workforce consisting of domestic labor and -workers, whether this labor force consists of paid or unpaid workers, and that globalization in its current form generates a growing supply of informal, underpaid and un- or under protected domestic services by (female) migrant domestic workers. The thesis I want to defend in this paper is that this is not ? ust? a consequence of growing formal labor market participation by women in ‘the global north’ but, when analyzed properly, is generated by certain foundational dynamics and characteristics of the globalization process. The main question I will answer is: “What can be said about the (future) demand for migrant domestic workers in the Netherlands if the Dutch market for domestic services is analyzed according to the dynamics and characteristics of globalization that explain the growing amount of migrant domestic workers world wide? In order to answer this question I will divide it into three sub-questions: 1 How should globalization be analyzed in order to explain the growing amount of migrant domestic workers world wide? 2 What are the dynamics and characteristics of globalization that explain the growing amount of migrant domestic workers world wide? 3 What does the Dutch market for domestic services look like when analyzed according to the dynamics and characteristics of globalization that explain the amount of migrant domestic workers world wide?
I will answer these questions by looking at existing literature on globalization and migrant domestic workers. By criticizing the different theories on globalization I will put forward why the mainstream globalization theories are insufficient for explaining the growing amount of MDWs and I will create space for a Relational Thinking approach to globalization. This approach to globalization emphasizes the necessity of analyzing the 5 different features of globalization and their effects in relation to each other and argues how this reveals forces and structures that provide a more inclusive picture of globalization.
It implies the inseparability of empirical, conceptual and sociopsychological developments and advocates a ‘triad analytics’ that reveals co-constituting dimensions of social reality which happen on three interacting levels: * changes/developments in the world ‘out there’ (practices, institutions, structures of social re/production) * changes/developments in how we think (meaning systems, ideologies, paradigms) * changes/developments in who we are (subjectivity, agency, self and collective identities). 1 By looking at globalization and migrant domestic labor through this Relational Thinking lens I will be able to provide a more inclusive picture of globalization and map out the dynamics and characteristics that explain a growing amount of migrant domestic labor. I will then use the Relational Thinking approach and the dynamics and characteristics of the globalization process that explain a growing demand of migrant domestic labor world wide to analyze the Dutch market for domestic services.
I will use the Dutch market for domestic services as a kind of case study to illustrate how globalization creates a (growing) demand for migrant domestic workers. 1. 3 Outline Chapter 1 defines our starting point and underlines the Relational Thinking assumption that how we think determines what we study and the other way around and that looking at ‘what we do’ ‘how we think’ and ‘who we are’ creates a more inclusive approach to globalization and its effects. I will do this by looking at what globalization is, how it is analyzed and then introducing migrant domestic workers and their work.
In chapter 2 I will provide a more inclusive approach to the current globalization process by mapping out the weaknesses of positivist and post-positivist approaches. I will put forward the answers the Relational Thinking approach has to these weaknesses. With this new lens I 11 Peterson 1997, p. 185. 6 will visualize the dynamics and characteristics of globalization that explain a growing amount of migrant domestic labor. In chapter 3 I will then analyze whether these dynamics and conditions exist in the Netherlands as well.
I will map out what forces, dynamics and changes are at work on the Dutch market for domestic services. In the concluding chapter I reflect on whether looking at ‘how we think’, ‘what we do’ and ‘who we are’ through a cross-border, interdisciplinary and multi-level analysis of ideologies, discourses, practices and identities reveals that globalization in its current form creates space for migrant domestic labor in the Netherlands. 7 2. What we do, how we think & who we are 2. 1 Introduction
The first part of this thesis defines our starting point. I will first describe ‘what we do’ referring to globalization in its current form and I will put forward the most dominant definitions of globalization. I will then look at ‘how we think’ by describing the positivist and post-positivist approaches to globalization and formulating the mainstream account to globalization and their methodological and epistemological assumptions. At the end of this chapter I will analyze who ‘we’ is in what we do and how we think. 2. 2 ‘What we do’ What we do’ is the same as what Peterson in other articles calls ‘the world out there’. By this she refers to practices, institutions and structures of production and reproduction. 12 Globalization ‘happens’ on this level and it happens, as I will illustrate throughout this thesis, in close relation to how we think and who we are. 2. 2. 1 What is globalization? In order to analyze globalization and its effects we must first know what it is. Globalization literature reveals many possibilities on how to define globalization.
Scholte explains how globalization can be defined according to five concepts which are “in some ways related and to some extent overlapping but with different emphases and therefore fundamentally different understandings of globalization” 13 . (i) globalization as internationalization The first concept interprets globalization as internationalization, which is often used synonymously with globalization. The ‘global’ is looked at from the nation-state 12 13 Peterson 1997, p. 185. Scholte 2005, p. 16 and 54. 8 erspective and implies a focus on cross-border relations and interdependence between countries, especially through trade and capital investment but also through the movements of people and symbols. (ii) globalization as liberalization The second concept is globalization as liberalization (or ‘globalism’) which reduces globalization to its economic effects and looks at it as a process of economic integration that is achieved through eliminating state-imposed restrictions on movement between countries e. g. trade barriers, foreign exchange regulation, capital controls and visas in order to create an ‘open’ and ‘borderless’ world. iii) globalization as universalization The third concept is universalization which refers to ‘worldwide’ and the process of spreading various objects, experiences and ideas to people all around the world. This refers to a sense of ‘global humanism’ and ranges from food and cars to ideas like decolonization. (iv) globalization as westernalization A fourth definition approaches globalization as westernization stresses how social structures of modernity (capitalism, rationalism, industrialism, bureaucratism, individualism etc. are spread over the world destroying traditional cultures and local self-determination. It is associated with ‘Americanization’ and (neo) imperialism. (v) globalization as respatialization The fifth approach is developed by Scholte and is called respatialization. According to this definition globalization entails a reconfiguration and transformation of social geography (deterritorialization) in which social space “cannot be mapped in terms of 9 territorial places, territorial distances and territorial borders” because of growing transand supra-territoriality. 4 A more common way of defining globalization is by categorizing it according to the economic (and secondly political) or cultural/sociological aspects of globalization. 15 The economical/political dimension of defining globalization focuses on the economic developments and structures of the globalization process and in specific on international trade and trade related agreements, trans-national and multinational companies, foreign direct investment and the (global) financial market.
In one of the first theories about globalization Marx identified economic forces as the drive behind globalization 16 . The discovery that globalization has also a political dimension originated by political scientists noticing that political action “was decreasingly confined to the sphere of the nation-state and that an elaborated web of trans-national connections [international organizations, supra-national organizations, nongovernmental organizations, multi-nationals, formal and informal networks, etc. ] was emerging alongside it”. 7 The political aspects of globalization are often discussed in relation to the economic aspects and addressed according to their economic importance. The cultural dimension of defining globalization was recognized as a separate dimension only much later and introduced the concept of ‘the global village’ referring to the exchange of culture and the increase of cross-border movement of travel, tourism, migration and ideas, symbols, beliefs, values and tastes and addresses the “McDonaldization” of culture and processes like multiculturalism and assimilation. 8 14 15 Scholte 2005, p. 16 and 17. Scholte 2005; Waters 2001, p. 17. Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 3. 16 Waters 2001, p. 11. 17 Waters 2001, p. 12. 18 Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 27. 10 Looking a bit closer to this broad political-economical and cultural division reveals a classification according to different degrees of rejection of globalization. Scholte divides these approaches into:
Neo-liberal policy which is market-based internationalism through liberalization, privatization, deregulation and fiscal constraint with “laissez-faire” economies without borders which ‘naturally’ brings prosperity, liberty, democracy and peace for all; Rejectionist policy which is truly anti-globalism and considers any and all forms of trans-national connectedness as harmful and advocates ‘de-globalization’ in diverse forms (nationalism, religious revivalism, radical environmentalism) and a return to a pre-global status although, according to Scholte, this is not possible;
Reformism with the aim of building an alternative globalization based on social-democratic traditions and argues that globalization should be conducted by public policies (the state) and through global governance, public participation and public accountability in order to guarantee official controls on corporate power, the implementation of minimum standards for incomes, labor protection and the environment and to promote opportunities for structurally disadvantaged social groups, and last;
Transformist strategies that go beyond reformism and advocate revolutionary globalization by fundamental social change for building a fundamentally different society that transcends currently prevailing social structures like capitalism and rationalism. 19 19 Scholte 2005, p. 37 and 38. 11 2. 2. 2 Globalization as neo-liberal restructuring Despite the variety of possible classifications of globalization, there still appears to be some agreement on what the important actors, processes and issues are. 0 First, there is a general agreement that (late modern) capitalism is the defining feature of and driving force behind current globalization processes. Capitalism encompasses two processes: it is driven by logic of accumulation that depends on progressively increasing the scale of production and by logic of marketization that drives towards an increasing scale of consumption, offering a prospect of general and individual increases of material welfare for all. 1 Defining the extent and novelty of globalization depends largely on the interpretation of its nature and the driving forces behind it. Although some regard the link of capitalism to modernization as a process of globalization which has been proceeding since the Peace of Westphalia and the creation of the state in the 17th century, most agree that globalization originated in the gold standard period and grew because of liberal policies concerning the opening up of markets in the 1970s. 2 This period refers to the fall of the Bretton Woods system, the rapid deregulation of international capital flows and the introduction of new information and communication technologies. Second, in relation to the agreement on capitalism as the defining feature and drive behind globalization, there is agreement on 17th the influence of neo-liberal ideology in determining the direction of globalization. It is considered as the dominant policy discourse for globalization since the early 1980s.
The global transformation processes of the 1970s led states to deregulatory policies, liberalizing domestic markets for foreign investors and privatizing state enterprises as well as social services. 23 During the last decades of the 20th century most governments, global institutions and UN agencies adopted a neo-liberal approach to globalization. The main task of neo-liberal 20 21 Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 4; Dunne & Smidt 2004, p. 179; Woods 2004, p. 338. Marchand & Rynyan 2000. 2 Waters 2001; Scholte 2005; Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 4. 23 Woods 2004, p. 338. 12 governments is providing free movement of capital, goods and ideas, unrestricted labor markets, stable monetary policies, limited fiscal policies, an integrative banking system, attractive investment opportunities and political stability. 24 But also in commercial circles, particularly in the financial markets and by managers of global firms, in the media, in academic quarters and among researchers, neo-liberalism has been supported and promoted.
Often is pointed out how a transnational class of political, economic and intellectual elites has been effective in spreading this neo-liberal thought through intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental forums and the media. 25 Although advocates of liberalization have tended to become less dogmatic since the mid-1990s, enjoying the strongest backing in official, media, academic and business circles, neoliberalist measures towards globalization have usually been the easiest to endorse and has held widespread acceptance as ‘commonsense’ 26 .
Third, most analysts agree that firms or multinational corporations, states, financial institutions and actors in these institutions (banks, investors, speculators, etc. ) constitute the main driving force behind globalization. By transforming their location strategies to low-income countries, firms have been searching for ways to improve their competitiveness and expand their market share. States try to improve and guard this international competitiveness by privatization and liberation policies, facilitating financial capital.
But the importance of capital and financial institutions have significantly undermined the role of the state and this has elicited as one of the most significant debates of globalization and raises questions about democracy, accountability and global governance. 27 The fourth agreement lies in the recognition of the role and importance of technology and in particular information and communication technology (ICT) has been an enabling and contributing driving force behind globalization.
Using technologies such as internet, communication satellites and telephones, the rise of a global financial system, firms’ Scholte 1997, p. 432; Scholte 2005, p. 39; Baylis & Smith 2004; Peterson 2003, p. 5 and p. 45; Cox 2006, p. 18. 25 Scholte 2005, p. 39; Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 6. 26 Scholte 2005, p. 40. 27 Woods 2004, p. 339 and 340; Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 5. 24 13 integrated production networks and strategies and the development of a global telecommunications infrastructure have been made possible.
Electronic communications, rapid transportation and their ‘instant character’ have therefore been critical to the development of globalization, not just for governments, but also for firms and social movements. Finally, there is agreement on the high level of interconnectedness under globalization and the contraction this entails, meaning the high level of interrelationship between states and the increasing dependence between them. This contraction implies ‘making the world smaller’ as location and time become less relevant, almost irrelevant, in order to connect. 28
The combination of deterritorialization and internationalization accelerated by technological advances refers to the decreasing importance of distances and boundaries and the increase of flows of trade, investment and capital among states (driven by capitalist and neo-liberal policies). Scholte points out that “what studies of globalization do demand is an abandonment of two pervasive and deeply integrated premises of conventional social thought, namely, methodological nationalism and methodological territorialism. 29 From these changes arises the question of whether globalization leads to the homogenization or universalizing of culture.
Most agree that globalization is transforming the familiar organizational structures of society and the ways in which individuals relate to society but there is less agreement on what this process entails. Some argue that it is leading to a homogeneous global mass culture and the emergence of a ‘global village’ dominated by cosmopolitans, others suggest that late modern capitalism is accompanied by increased fragmentation in the form of (radical) individualism and various forms of fundamentalism. 30 28 29 Waters 2001, p. 22. Scholte 1996, p. 48. 30 Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 6. 14 2. 3 ‘How we think’
Spike Peterson argues that to stop and think about ‘how we think’ is crucial for any analysis because how we think and what we conceive as reality is inextricably connected to ‘what we do’ and ‘who we are’ and the other way around. 31 Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, it is difficult to specify how we think about globalization since globalization lacks an explicit theory. 2. 3. 1 Globalization theories In his 2005 edition of “Globalization: a critical introduction” Scholte adds a chapter called “Explaining Globalization” which confirms, as he himself admits, how theoretical perspectives are usually kept implicit. 2 It also confirms the need and necessity to stop and think about what our theoretical assumptions are. Scholte distinguishes six main types of theories which I will discuss in their plural form and according to the positivist versus post-positivist division. 33 Methodological assumptions The methodological assumptions (i. e. the way we built knowledge/how to undertake study) of positivists and post-positivists can be divided in “explanatory” versus “constitutive” theories and what Scholte refers to as the relationship between the analyst and the analysed.
These methodological assumptions are closely connected to their ontological counterparts (i. e. how we define reality). Explanatory/positivist theories try to ‘explain’ reality by looking at it as something outside them. They believe subject and object can be separated and that reality can be observed and explained through observation. Constitutive/post-positivist theories think about theory not as something 31 32 Peterson 2003, p. 40 Scholte 2005, p. 121. 3 In reality accounts on globalization often do not fall completely and obviously in one of these six categories and like Scholte I will use their plural form (i. e. liberalisms, postmodernisms, feminisms etc. ) when describing their content because there exist numerous variations within each theory of which, for the purpose of this thesis, it is not necessary to address all of them in detail and to their full extend. Scholte 2005, p. 124. 15 external to the things it is trying to explain but instead as constructing how we think about the world and how we define what we see as reality. 4 In other words: according to post-positivists the concepts we use to think about the world make that world what it is. A second methodological difference is the one between materialist and idealist approaches. Materialists treat reality (and globalization) as a result of economical and ecological forces like nature, production, technology, laws and institutions while idealist accounts regard reality (and globalization) as a product of cultural and psychological forces like ideas, identities and ideology. 5 Scholte concludes that cutting across the idealist-materialist divide reveals an old dispute on the degree to which people’s choices (agency) shape history which can be referred to as the individualist-structuralist debate. 36 Epistemological assumptions Another division within the positivist and post-positivist groups has to do with their epistemological assumptions (i. e. how we claim to know something/what count as ‘fact’) which can be divided into foundational and anti-foundational approached. 37 A foundational approach implies that all truth claims can be judged true or false on metatheoretical” grounds which imply that it is possible to choose between true or false. Through observation and experience foundationalists/positivists explain the social world through ‘neutral’ observation and empirical studies. Anti-foundationalists on the other hand claim that this in itself is simply a reflection of a particular epistemological approach since there are no neutral grounds to judge from. According to them each theory defines what counts as facts. 38 Both these epistemological assumptions are, of course, very much related to their methodological and ontological counterparts.
Smith & Owens 2004, p. 273. Scholte 2005, p. 21 and p. 122. 36 Scholte 2005, p. 21. 37 Smith & Owens 2004, p. 274. 38 Smith & Owens 2004, p. 274. Smith and Owens use the examples of “a Marxist and Liberal arguing about the ‘true’ state of the economy or a feminist and Islamic Fundamentalist discussing the ‘true’ status of women. ” 35 34 16 2. 3. 2 Main positivist and post-positivist approaches Scholte distinguishes six main types of theories: liberalism, political realism, Marxism, constructivism, postmodernism and feminism. 39 I will add ‘normative theories’.
I will describe these theories according to their positivist/post-positivist division and discuss feminist theories separately, in the next chapter, because of their special relevance to the Relational Thinking approach. Positivist approaches Realisms Realism has been the dominant theory of international relations. 40 Realists conceive economics as a way to gain political power that strengthens their economic power in order to gain more political power etc. 41 This struggle for power has been the main focus of this group of scholars.
For realists the state is the principle actor and international relations are understood as a struggle among great powers in which the only fundamental responsibility of states is to defend its territory and national interests in the name of national security and state survival. 42 This approach arises out of a pessimistic view of human nature in which the state is created out of fear for each other and because this fear continues on state level they agree that only a balance of power or a state hegemony can bring stability to an anarchic world.
Liberalisms Opposing the pessimistic view of realism, liberalists propose an optimistic approach that is strongly connected to their belief in progress in the sense of individual liberty and material welfare. Economic liberalism emerged as a critique to the subordination of the economy to political control and instead supported the logic that markets would expand automatically due to the natural strive for satisfaction of individual and material needs, as 39 40 Scholte 2005, p. 121 and 122. Dunne & Schmidt 2004, p. 161. 41 Jackson & Sorenson 2003, p. 178. 42 Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 69. 17 ong as governments would not interfere. The principal actor in this approach is the individual as consumer and producer. 43 Liberalist thought gained influence after the First World War and spread their belief that rationality and shared interests achieve mutually beneficial cooperation between states which results in greater benefits at home and abroad. 44 Together with democracy and the promotion of open markets and underpinned by technological and institutional arrangements this brings people the wealth and rights they strive for and eventually and inevitably interlinks all people across the globe.
Most mainstream accounts of globalization are based on these liberal assumptions. 45 Technological advances and institutional arrangements are important conditions for spreading markets and democracy and this has certainly stimulated the transplanetary connectivity dimension of globalization. But liberalists withhold from wandering what (social) forces and (knowledge) structures lie behind these technological and institutional creations. By locating the causes of globalization in material conditions, liberalists underestimate the cultural aspects of the process ideas, meaning, identities) and overlook the existence of power hierarchies that attributed to the globalization process and its course. 46 Neo-Marxisms Around the 1970s neo-Marxism emerged and added analyses of economic underdevelopment and dependence theories to the IR debate. The distinction between the economy and politics and between states and markets was increasingly questioned and attention shifted from war and peace, cooperation and conflict, to international wealth and poverty and other social economic issues. 7 Marxists explain globalization as on outcome of capitalist strives toward profit making and surplus accumulation on a global scale. According to this approach all of world politics occur in an enormous and influential capitalist structure that reflects and reinforces the pattern of power and control of the economic ‘base’ and a change in this superstructure can only be reached through a 43 44 Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 181 and 182. Dunne 2004, p. 186; Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 107. 45 Scholte 2005, p. 124. 46 Scholte 2005, p. 124, 125 and 126. 47 Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 176 and 177. 8 change in the economic relations that constitute this base. 48 The first attempt to apply Marxist ideas to the international sphere is done in world-system theories. Their focus on imperialism explains how the periphery, semi-periphery and core are linked together, how wealth is drained away from the periphery to the centre and reveals dependency structures, but also how social classes are important actors in world politics. 49 . The Gramsci strand of Marxism takes this a bit further and puts civil society (media, education systems, churches, environmental and peace movements etc. in the equation and point out how they play an important part in creating and recreating but also struggling against the consent needed for the dominant ideology of the hegemony to maintain their power. 50 While these different approaches to international relations have all been influenced by Marxist assumptions, they have their own interpretation on what Marx his meanings were. New Marxism is most directly engaged by the Marxist tradition and concentrates on imperialism. New Marxism has therefore provided much research on capitalism in third world countries. 1 The concept of hegemony and its power to maintain the status quo through coercion and consent questions who prosper under the prevailing order and highlight the role of politics and culture (ideas, law, knowledge) in shaping the interests, actions and policies of the actors within the system. Questioning the prevailing order invites a whole new approach to international relations inspired by Marxism and elaborating on how facts and values cannot be separated and always reflect a certain time and certain circumstances. 2 This revolutionary approach is called critical theory and introduces post-positivist assumptions to Marxist approaches and a possibility to escape the materialist boundaries that underpin these approaches when ideas are treated as ‘just’ outcomes of, with no autonomy from or influence on, the existing mode of production. Critical theories focus on power and domination and the subtle and not so subtle connection between object and subject and are highly political, even revolutionary, believing in progressive change 48 49
Hobden & Jones 2004, p. 229. Hobden & Jones 2004, p. 231. 50 Scholte 2005, p. 129. 51 Hobden & Jones 2004, p. 243. 52 Hobden & Jones 2004, p. 236 and 237. 19 based on the assumption that everything social is constructed and thus changeable and historical. 53 Post-positivist approaches Constructivists Like critical theorists, constructivists argue that the international system is not something that stands on it own. They claim there only exists something that is called intersubjective awareness among people.
This is a set of ideas, meanings, norms, values, identities, concepts and assumptions which have been arranged by certain people at a certain time and certain place. Constructivisms focus on the relationship between ideational and material forces, between agent and structure and on how international (normative) structures construct identities and interests. 54 They investigate how people conceive themselves and their relations with others and how these relations are formed and expressed.
Processes of diffusion, standardization, institutionalization, naturalization, reproduction and transformation are deconstructed and analyzed but constructivists abstain from analyzing constructions of structural inequalities and conditions of domination and subordination. 55 Postmodernists Postmodernisms on the other hand also approach social science as historical, cultural and political rather than neutral and a-historical but acknowledge that “knowledge and power are intimately related”. 56 The influence of power on the construction of identities, norms and knowledge is an important focus for all postmodernisms.
They focus on how power structures shape and are shaped by knowledge and determines what is ‘truth’ and ‘real’ and what is not. According to postmodernists the dominant framework of knowledge today is rationality and they assign globalization to rationality’s expansionary logic that 53 54 Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 248. Barnett 2004, p. 263. 55 Scholte 2005, p. 132. 56 Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 251. 20 implies cultural imperialism. 57 Postmodernists have contributed greatly to revealing the deeper social conditions that have prompted the globalization process.
But even more for postmodernisms than for constructivists there exist a risk of becoming too nihilistic, deconstructing everything to the bone, and too theoretical, with its critique that all theory is biased and arbitrary being turned upon itself. 58 A for relational thinking very important post-modern approach is post-colonialism. Post-colonialism has made significant contributions to the destruction of disciplinary boundaries and has paid special attention to global hierarchies of subordination and control based on gender, class and racial differences.
According to post-colonialists power and imperialism operate on the intersection of these gender, race and class hierarchies. 59 Normative theories A post-positivist theory which Scholte does not mention as a separate theory is the so called normative theory. Normative theories address the moral dimension of international relations and the wider questions of meaning, interpretation and value. Normative theorists point out that all rules, institutions and practices are value-based and if they claim they are not they merely fail to be explicit about it.
This approach to globalization is important for their contributions to the discussion about ‘cosmopolitanism’ versus ‘communitarianism’ and the ethnical standing of institutions and their relation to each other. 60 57 58 Scholte 2005, p. 133. Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 252. 59 Smith & Owens 2004, p. 288 and 289. 60 Jackson & Sorensen 2003, p. 261. 21 2. 4 ‘Who we are’ The preceding chapters have explained that globalization is a process of neo-liberal restructuring and that this process and its effects are approached economically, politically or culturally through positivist and post-positivist theories of international relations.
What are the consequences of such an account to globalization? My main investigation in this paper is to find out whether the dynamics of globalization that explain a growing amount of migrant domestic services globally exist in the Dutch market for domestic services as well in order to say something about the (future) demand for and supply of domestic labor by MDWs in the Netherlands. Well then, where are the MDWs in the dominant account and the positivist and post-positivist approaches to globalization? In other words, who is ‘we’ in ‘what we do’ and ‘how we think’? 2. 4. Globalization and identity formation Globalization creates more space for identity formation outside the limits of the (direct) family and the nation-state and changes in economic and social structures directly influence structures of the state, the daily lives of people and the way they look at themselves and form their identity. 61 Internet and the growing access to all kinds of information (about and from other countries, people and cultures) confront us with the multiple ways of ‘looking’, ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ and creates a wide range of possibilities to choose from and identify with. 2 In turn our social environment (e. g. family, school, the neighborhood or nation-state) in which our identity is formed will be transformed by this formation and so on. The way globalization broadens and at the same time differentiates (and individualizes) the context in which we ‘do’ and ‘think’ creates possibilities as we are no longer limited to family, nature, class or state structures for the 61 62 Scholte 2000, p. 48.
I found it particularly interesting to read that, according to the ILO’s World Employment Report 2001, approximately one-half of the world’s population lacks access to the electricity and phone lines that enable access to ICT and that of the 5% of the world’s people who use the internet 88% lives in advanced industrialized countries and approximately 75% of all internet information is produced in English. The report continues to tell that users are disproportionately young, urban, educated and male as for example in the United States the ‘typical Internet user is a 36 year old, college educated, high-income, urban and Caucasian… nd in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia respectively 87 and 98 per cent of all Internet users have university degrees and they are overwhelmingly male’. Peterson 2003, p. 56. 22 construction of our identity but at the same time may frighten people as it is confusing and removes the security of simplicity and predictability that existed when people’s identity was connected to their state. 63 Identity (and ‘subjectivity’) is a construction and is not formed in a vacuum but is surrounded by power relations and power structures.
A lack of money to travel or emigrate, differentiated access to sources as the Internet or school or the inability to read and write, create different possibilities to different processes of identity formations. As Goppel in her thesis on ‘Migrant Domestic Workers and Identity Formation in a Globalized World’ points out: the formation of a (national) identity automatically forms an identity which stands outside the collective identity since it is difficult to create an identity without presupposing an ‘outsider’ or ‘opposite’. 4 Different processes of identity formation and different processes of in- and exclusion create different identities as they are embedded in different power structures. Goppel talks of three ‘globalization subjects’ and adds a fourth. The three ‘dominant’ subjects within the globalization discourse of proponents as well as critics are what she calls ‘the managers subject’, ‘the cosmopolitan’ and ‘the activist’.
She argues that the fourth subject of globalization, ‘the pragmatically globalized subject’, is not visible in these dominant accounts to globalization since these accounts are based on a Western approach which decides what we see and what we do not see. As these accounts focus on the three dominant subjects of globalization the pragmatically globalized subject which includes labor migrants is often forgotten. Chang and Ling argue that the integration of the economic and cultural approaches to globalization sheds light on its unexposed sides.
They put forward that applying this in combination with gender analyzes ‘re-visibilizes’ women and other feminized subjects in these various processes of global change and argue to study corporal men and women (instead of disembodied categories) “whose choices and movements reflect their gendered, racialized, and class-based identities in the world they inhabit” (instead of ignoring the global structures that limit their choices). 65 Scholte 2000, p. 226 Goppel 2003, p. 14. 65 Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 7.
Important to note here is that this is not to promote these women and other feminized subjects, which Chang and Ling refer to as ‘the subaltern’, as victims. On the contrary, they put them forward as agents and a more inclusive approach to globalization will make their agency 64 63 23 This de-colonizing, as Chang and Ling call this approach to social reality, entails “viewing global restructuring from below, in person, and located at a specific geopolitical-cultural site (.. ) look[ing] at non-corporate, though not less organized, forms of working and living in the global political economy (.. and taking seriously how corporal subjects themselves make sense of their globalizing world. ” 66 Parrenas underlines the importance of this kind of relational, interpretive and gender analyses when she writes about Migrant Filipina Domestic Workers in Rome and Los Angeles and stresses that a subject can never be completely removed from the process of its constitution. 67 Her focus on this process of identity formation confirms that in order to ‘visibilize’ agency and (unexposed) subjects it is crucial to look at the structures involving the process of identity formation.
These eclectic, integrating, interpretive, gender and de-colonizing approaches to globalization reflect the importance of analyzing globalization by looking at the relation between processes, analyzes, effects and subjects and incorporating un- and underexposed subjects and subjectivity in dominant accounts to globalization. It reveals processes and subjects of globalization that exist in very close relation to the ‘dominant’ processes and subjects of globalization. 2. 4. Techno Muscular Capitalism and its intimate other Migration pre-dates globalization which does not mean that globalization cannot have important and in its own way ‘new’ contributions to the changes in the direction, content and magnitude of migration. Labor migration today is often brought in connection to globalization. 68 Mittelman points out that the global restructuring of production and its connection to migration illustrates how various aspects of globalization (as well as the top-down and bottom-up perspectives) merge. 9 Numerous studies recognize that neoliberal restructuring has created dramatically increased flows of capital and equally increased flows of labor primarily from ‘the global South’ to ‘the global North’ or from ‘un- and underdeveloped countries’ or parts of countries to ‘developed countries’ or noticed and valued. But by paying attention to the larger structures that operate in the global political economy “we aim to avoid romanticizing or individualizing subjectivity”. Marchand & Runyan 2000, p. 8. 66 Chang & Ling 2000, p. 34. 7 Parrenas 2001, p. 34. 68 Castles & Miller 1998, p. 78; UN General Assembly Report 2006, p. 5 punt A. 1; Peterson 2003, p. 65. 69 Mittelman 1996, p. 235. 24 global cities. But Pellerin and others ascribe the importance of the ‘migration crisis’ in this era of globalization to its increased public attention and cry for global management by developed countries which, she argues, is a consequence of the quantitative and qualitative changes in migration flows to developed countries and not so much in the quantitative changes worldwide. 0 Due to the low birth rate in North America and Europe migrants represent a significant amount compared to the number of native people in these countries and they provide an important contribution to population growth and economic sustainability in developed countries. But because of this low birth rate in these countries this is needed and at the same time feared. The report “International migration and development” handed over to the U. N. General Assembly in June last year points out that migrants take on jobs for which, often because of low wages, there cannot be found local workers and would otherwise remain undone or cost more.
This allows citizens to perform other, more productive and better-paid jobs. 71 Various scholars put forward the growing importance of the service economy as an explanation for the growing amount of migrant labor in this age of globalization. They point out how labor markets are structured by a global division of labor which differentiates professional, managerial and other skilled workers (often highly mobile) from a group classified as unskilled or deskilled service workers (often bound to a place and time). 72
Trends like these have their effects on women as well, of course. An emigration country that illustrates the importance of the service economy and its effect on labor migration and women very clearly is the Philippines. In 2003 the Philippines had 6. 97 million people residing and working overseas of which 2. 9 million worked as overseas contract workers and 1. 8 million as undocumented workers. It is difficult to establish this precisely because of lack of accurate figures that comes with this informality, but it can be said that the actual amount of undocumented
Pellerin 2003, p. 177. These figures from the UN secretary in 1998 show that the amount of migrants worldwide increased from 75 million in 1965 to almost 120 million in 1990. While the number of migrants in developing countries increased from almost 45 million to more than 65 million in this same period, the number of migrants in developed countries increased from 30 million to 54 million but representing 4. 1% of its population in comparison to ‘only’ 1. 6% in developing countries Pellerin 2003, p. 180. 71 UN General Assembly Report 2006, point 51 and 52 p. 2. 72 Sassen 2002; Agustin 2007; Pettman 2003. 70 25 migrant workers will therefore most likely be higher. Yearly 700. 000 Philippine people emigrate to reside and work overseas and 60% of the labor migrants from the Philippines is female of which more than half of them end up in the service sector, mainly as care and/or domestic workers. 73 According to Parrenas this percentage goes up to one third and with their entrance into domestic service in more than 130 countries they represent one of the largest and widest flow of contemporary female migration. 4 According to Ehrenreich and Hochschild “foreign females from countries outside of the European Union made up only 6 percent of all domestic workers in 1984. By 1987 the percentage had jumped to 52”. 75 These women are migrants that provide elderly care, childcare, and/or housecleaning in private homes paid by individuals or families. They are what Chang and Ling call globalization’s ‘Intimate Other’ since this low-skilled low-wage labor is performed under intimate, household conditions. 76 Most analyses of global political economy focus on conditions of the formal productive conomy and its ‘aggressive market competition’ that Chang and Ling call ‘techno-muscular capitalism’ (TMC) and refers to a ‘glitzy, Internet-surfing, structurally integrated world of global finance, production, trade, and telecommunications. Populated primarily by men at its top rungs of decision making, this global restructuring valorizes all those norms and practices usually associated with Western capitalist masculinity – “deregulation”, “privatization”, “strategic alliances”, “core regions”, “deadlands”. 77 Growing informalization exposes global restructuring ‘from below’ and polarizes the global political economy between a small privileged group (that includes women) of upper class techno-muscular capitalism and the majority of the world’s workers who participate less out of choice than necessity, mostly and growing, female migrant workers. This process is what Chang and Ling call Globalization 2.
They argue that the ‘rhetoric of empire’ that follows the god-eyed view with which both advocates of and critics of globalization focus on “finance, production, trade, telecommunications, media, drug cartels and the Mafia” allows them to see only a small segment of the world, i. e. white, 73 74 Lan 2003, p. 257 to 260; Pettman 2003, p. 162. Parrenas 2001, p. 1. 75 Ehrenreich & Hochschield 2003 p. 7. 76 Chang & Ling 2000, p. 27. 77 Chang & Ling 2000, p. 28. 26 masculinized, cosmopolitans working in or near global cities, at the expense of the majority. 8 Sassen agrees and adds how ‘recapture[ing] the geography behind globalization’ by including production processes and a focus on practices reveals how markets, firms and even the information industry rests on a physical (territorial) infrastructure and employ not only high-professionals but many different types of workplaces and workers. 79 Ehrenreich and Hochschild also refer to this type of dependency in their accounts on migrant domestic labor. 80 The unexposed side of the globalization process that is located in the private sphere of the household s, in every sense, an intimate other to TMC. But this second, intimate, process of global restructuring is more explicitly sexualized, racialized and class-based than its TMC counterpart. 78 79 Chang & Ling 2000, p. 31. Sassen 2002a, p. 256 and 257. 80 Ehrenreich & Hochschild 2002, p. 11. 27 2. 5 Summary Globalization can be classified according to fundamentally different approaches to globalization. This reveals the complicatedness of the process and its ‘all-embracingness’, influencing every aspect of economical, political, social and cultural relations.
It also reveals that what globalization is depends on who you ask and how he or she thinks. Despite these variations on what globalization is and what its effects are there seems to exist a general agreement that defines globalization as neo-liberal restructuring. This definition refers to a process of global restructuring with capitalism as the defining driving force and neo-liberal ideology determining its direction with an important role for information and communication technologies.
The process of neo-liberal restructuring privileges market forces and privatization over public spending. It changes the public welfare role of the state to one in which its main task is providing free movement of capital, goods and ideas, unrestricted labor markets, stable monetary policies, limited fiscal policies, an integrative banking system, attractive investment opportunities and political stability. Theories of globalization are divided in positivist and post-positivist approaches.
Positivists believe that the only true knowledge is scientific knowledge and that there is little if any difference between social science and natural science, which depends on (direct) observation and is explanatory rather than normative. They believe that the social world has regularities which observation can ‘discover’ and that globalization is the result of concrete forces creating neutral facts. Post-positivists think a value free social science does not exist because our subjectivity determines what we see as reality and how we interpret this reality.
This means it is not possible to divide between object and subject which makes reality something to understand instead of explain since it is created rather than fixed. In sum, realist, liberal and Marxist theories are positivist approaches and tend to be materialistic, explanatory and foundational; constructivisms, post-modernisms and normative theories are post-positivist approaches and tend to be idealistic, constitutive and anti-foundational. 28 Dominant accounts on globalization focus on the Techno Muscular Capitalism (TMC) side of the neo-liberal restructuring process.
This means a focus on a privileged group of men and women moving within the formal productive economy and valorized by norms and practices associated with Western capitalist masculinity. Such accounts to globalization overlook a process of global restructuring very closely related to this visible part of the globalization process. This unshed side of the globalization process is what Chang and Ling call ‘Globalization 2’ and refers to the majority of the world’s workers.
The growing importance of the service economy and the global division of labor create a growing demand for migrant labor and polarizes the world in professional, managerial and other skilled workers and unskilled or deskilled migrant (service) workers. These pragmatically globalized subjects are not visible in the dominant accounts to globalization since these accounts are based on a Western masculine approach which decides what we see and what we do not see.
Migrant Domestic Workers, as pragmatically globalized subjects working in the private sphere of the household, are the very ‘Intimate Other’ to this process of TMC. Neo-liberal restructuring and its focus on TMC tells us only one half of the story. 29 3. A Relational Thinking approach to neo-liberal restructuring 3. 1 Introduction By introducing MDWs and their (lack of) place in the globalization process and globalization theories the other half of the story becomes visible. This creates space for a more inclusive approach to globalization.
In this chapter I will put forward a Relational Thinking approach to globalization (and social reality in general) and I will explain what this changes about what we see when we look at globalization. I will then use this lens to describe different processes, dynamics and characteristics of globalization and migrant domestic services in order to explain the growing amount of migrant domestic labor in the world today. 3. 2 Relational Thinking As pointed out in the previous chapters positivist and to a lesser degree post-positivist theories are dominant in analyzing globalization.
These accounts overlook important subjects of globalization, like MDWs: “this dominant narrative [of globalization] concerns itself with the upper circuits of global capital, not the lower ones, and particularly with the hypermobility of capital rather than with what is place-bound. ” 81 Making MDWs and their work visible is necessary in order to explain the growing amount of MDWs in today’s globalized world. Therefore another approach to globalization is needed. I will begin with discussing the weaknesses of positivist and post-positivist approaches to globalization in order to create space for this other approach to globalization. . 2. 1 Criticism towards mainstream theories An obvious critique to realisms is their narrow focus on conflict and states. Although human nature may be self-interested and combative and although states may be key figures in an anarchic world where power and power politics, security, state survival and national interests in general are important guidelines for state policies, realisms overlook 81 Sassen 2002, p. 1; Sassen 1999, p. 1. 30 the importance of other key actors like human beings, lobby groups, regional nstitutions, companies and non-governmental organizations, other ‘sites’ like communities and households and other values like the environment and the ability of cooperation and progress. 82 Realists reduce all power relations to state hierarchies. US hegemony and other major governments and their interests have certainly played an important role in the globalization process and its direction but additional types of power relations – class, ethnicity, gender – have played their part and although maybe standing in relation to state hierarchies these other hierarchies are not reducible to that of the state.
After all, as Scholte reminds us, class inequality, cultural hierarchy and patriarchy predate the modern state system. 83 The revelation of deeper forces by Marxist and social theorists and their focus social power relations and inequalities that underpin technological and institutional developments, state strategies and transplanetary connections have been an important contribution to globalization theories but as with state h