The objectives of this book
This book presents a number of country-specific studies of labour law regimes in the industrialising countries of the East Asian region. In preparing this material we have had two major purposes in mind. One has been to provide an account, in broad general outline, of labour law in the selected countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea. Throughout the work we have adopted a broad meaning of the subject matter - ‘labour law’. In traditional texts ‘labour law’ is taken to mean the regulation of the employment relation and working conditions by state or private means. However, in addition to these matters we have sought to include legal norms relating to matters of labour supply and labour quality, thus embracing aspects of labour market regulation beyond the employment relationship. Hence the title of the work Law and Labour Market Regulation in East Asia.
Our second, and more central purpose, however, has been to open up for discussion a number of issues and questions arising from comparative labour law and its application to legal regimes in Asian societies. The task has been to examine the relationship between labour law and its political, economic and cultural contexts. We have asked the contributing authors to investigate why labour law regimes take on the shape they do, what role or roles they play in the implementation of state labour policies and how they interact with employment, industrial relations, economic and cultural systems. In so doing, we have sought to gain greater insight into the perceived different outcomes in labour law regimes in East Asian states, and the reasons for those differences, whilst at the same time suggesting ways in which many of the issues raised can be pursued through further research.
The contributing authors in this study are specialists in the law of the country they examine. In all cases, they are fluent in the language of that country and have thus drawn on both national and English language sources. In asking the contributors to respond to our aims, we did not insist on adherence to any particular theory or methodology; indeed we ourselves do not share an agreed position on these matters. Our purpose, rather, was to encourage them to draw attention to those aspects of labour regulation they considered particularly interesting and to develop hypotheses about the operation of labour law from their own theoretical