Originally published in 2005. Uniting critical debates on globalization with those on regulation, this book provides an innovative account of the fate of safety regulation in the face of global pressures. The author addresses the key question of whether globalization is making safety standards better or worse. She analyzes the diverse strands of globalization that threaten safety standards and examines the measures that hold potential for beneficial change. Regulatory character, a theoretical model that captures local economic, political and cultural influence developed in the work, sheds light on how and why regulation and safety standards do or do not change in the face of a crisis. The theoretical work is grounded and illuminated by research on the Thai government's response to the Kader fire, set in the rapidly industrializing context of Southeast Asia. Theoretically rigorous and empirically rich, the book has critical contemporary social relevance. It demonstrates a diverse theoretical heritage (embracing Weber, Douglas and Christopher Hood amongst others) that critically and productively engages with research and policy making to raise safety standards.
Contents: The Tragedy of Kader; Industrial disasters, regulatory change and globalization; Regulatory character; Ripples in a pond: The response to Kader; Regulatory character and response: patriarchalism and self-reliance; Regulatory character and response: protest and law reform; Globalization, self-reliance and global rationalism; Globalization, sovereignty and activism; Conclusions; Appendix 1: reflections on research methods; Appendix 2: Tsunami postscript; Bibliography; Index.
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