The Outsourcing of Manufacturing and the Rise of Giant Global Contractors: A Marxian Approach to Some Recent Transformations of Global Value Chains

Publicado en: New Political Economy, Vol. 15, No. 4, December 2010
This article aims to show that the Marxian ‘law of value’ can provide solid foundations for the comprehension of the constitution and dynamics of Global Value
Chains (GVC). It offers an explanation of the social processes of ‘value creation and capture’ within a chain based on the system-wide motion of global capital
accumulation. A firm connection is thus established between the particular dynamics internal to each industry and the general dynamics of the ‘system as a whole’, which is, precisely, where the greatest weakness of the GVC approach lies. Furthermore, the usefulness of those general theoretical insights is then
shown through a more empirical discussion of recent transformations in the composition and governance structure of GVC resulting from two interrelated processes: the tendency for a growing de-linking between innovation and manufacturing and the rise of highly concentrated global contractors. These phenomena have paradigmatically developed in the electronics industry, giving rise to the formation of the so-called modular or turnkey production networks. The discussion therefore focuses on that particular industrial sector.


Guido Starosta

Director de la línea de investigación Método dialéctico y categorías fundamentales en la crítica de la economía política - implicancias para la investigación de la dinámica concreta de la acumulación de capital. Doctor en Sociología (Universidad de Warwick), Master en Pensamiento Político y Social (Universidad de Warwick) y Licenciado en Economía (FCE - UBA). Docente investigador de la UNQ e investigador de carrera de CONICET con lugar de trabajo en la UNQ.