Employers As Actors of Regional Development? Employer Collective Action in a Espirito Santo, Brazil
The study is set in a small coastal state of Brazil, which has prospered (unevenly) on the basis of the commodities trade and export. It is home to a number of multinational companies benefiting from its geographical location and access to resource and commodity markets. In recent years, however, institutional weaknesses of state authorities have disadvantaged both local and multinational business actors. As a result, employer collective action emerged with a decidedly developmental ambition. Increasingly, however, both state and business actors encounter problems of legitimacy with growing civil society dissent in relation to continued extractionist rather than sustainable development. The paper is based on interviews with representatives of the employers’ organisation and individual multinational companies. The paper therefore aims to contribute to recent discussions of the wider impact of employers’ collective action beyond the workplace. It also engages with the emerging literature on hierarchical market economies in Latin America and provides a different lens on our understanding of hierarchical business-state-society relations in emerging economies.