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Globalisation, state strategies and the shipping labour market: the UK's response to declining seafaring skills

Gekara, Victor Oyaro 2008. Globalisation, state strategies and the shipping labour market: the UK's response to declining seafaring skills. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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The acceleration of economic globalisation, over the past few decades, has put the role of the state, as an important actor in the management of the global economy, in the spotlight. The question that continues to dominate the globalisation debate is whether or not individual states, operating within a neoliberal paradigm, are in a position to effectively regulate the economic activities of powerful multinational capital, manage domestic economies and protect labour. The main aim of this thesis is to assess how effectively nation states can respond to globalisation and mitigate negative impacts such as the decline of domestic industries and local labour markets while maximising the benefits. Shipping is one of the most globalised industries and one where capital is highly mobile. The challenges facing nation states in their attempt to manage domestic economies and protect local industries are therefore well illustrated in the relationship between the state and multinational shipping capital. The UK, along with other Traditional Maritime Nations, has been dramatically affected by the globalisation of the industry. Following a huge decline in the UK's merchant shipping fleet, the UK government has attempted to respond, by way of a tonnage tax. This is primarily a tax incentive to encourage ship-owners to register and operate their ships in the UK. The tonnage tax regime contains within it a training commitment by which the ship-owners undertake to recruit and train UK cadets. An assessment of the performance of the strategy reveals that, whereas it has boosted significant growth in UK registered tonnage, it has achieved little success with regard to increasing the number of qualified junior officers. It is this paradox that comprises the focus of this study. Using interview data collected from key stakeholders in the UK shipping industry the thesis analyses the form and impact of the tonnage tax. The main conclusion is that, having initially committed to the advocacy of the neoliberal agenda and the concept of free capital markets, states are no longer capable of effectively responding to globalisation and the consequent negative impact on domestic economies. Because of the growing influence of corporate capital and the fear of capital flight, the limitations of state policies is especially evident in the British shipping industry in relation to the decline of local seafaring labour.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
ISBN: 9781303209642
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 15:24

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