Diaspora and Techno-Economic Community: Indian IT Professionals in Japan

Dr. Anthony D'Costa from the University of Melbourne integrates the reasons for and the ways by which mobility of professionals is institutionally and structurally restricted and facilitated by states and capitalist firms in the understudied interaction between India and Japan.

Monday, November 14, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall




The phenomenon of international migration has been widely studied but there has been little investigation of the contemporary phenomenon of professional mobility to theorize and thus understand the workings of global capitalism and host country responses to foreign professionals. In this presentation I integrate the reasons for and the ways by which mobility of professionals is institutionally and structurally restricted and facilitated by states and capitalist firms in the understudied interaction between India and Japan. I argue that the changing structures of capital accumulation, from manufacturing to services in the context of global economic integration, induces the international movement of people, while mobility is circumscribed by national institutions such as governments, business, and labor. With respect to Japan I further argue that the impediments to international mobility posed by local institutions cannot be durable if the prospect for capitalist expansion is severely jeopardized. By using the IT industries of Japan and India I indicate that hitherto inhibiting institutions (stickiness) in Japan I show that institutions must adjust to the imperatives of business competitiveness and expansion despite the institutional propensity to not do so. By extension such adjustments by Japanese institutions are argued to include, even if reluctantly, professional Indians as part of a techno-economic community in Japan.


Anthony P. D’Costa
is Chair and Professor of Contemporary Indian Studies, Development Studies, SSPS, University of Melbourne. He was the A.P. Møller Mærsk Foundation Professor of Indian Studies, Copenhagen Business School and Professor of Comparative International Development for 18 years at the University of Washington. He also taught at National University of Singapore, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and Bordeaux École de Management. He has published widely on the political economy of development, global capitalism, labor, and industrial restructuring using the steel, auto, and IT sectors. His most recent book is International Mobility, Global Capitalism, and Changing Structures of Accumulation: Transforming the Japan-India IT Relationship (2016). His recent edited books include Transformation and Development: The Political Economy of Transition in India and China (2012), Globalization and Economic Nationalism in Asia (2012), After-Development Dynamics: South Korea's Contemporary Engagements with Asia (2015), and The Land Question in India: State, Dispossession, and Capitalist Transition (2017), all published by Oxford University Press. He edits Dynamics of Asian Development book series and has held several fellowships -- Fulbright-Hays, American Institute of Indian Studies, Korea Foundation, Abe - Japan Foundation, and POSCO - East West Center.

Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia

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