Asian Review

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This articles demonstrate the unevenness of socioeconomic development under neoliberalism by utilizing the term "neoliberal involution." After Thailand shifted from import-substitution to export-orientation in the 1980s, industries need to achieve competitive low cost of production. In the decades since, an influx of migrant laborers has fulfilled this condition. Research in three different Thai provinces shows that migrant communities are subject to a process dubbed "neoliberal involution." First, migrant laborers are forced to accept high economic risks because of the low political power to negotiate in the labor market. Second, they are victims of social-disintegration in both their host and home countries. Finally, intensive commoditization isolates them from any real community and constructs conditions of hyper-individualism.



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