The state, labor export/import, and economic restructuring in Taiwan
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Taiwan has welcomed laborers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia since 1991, and has since added Vietnam. “Imported” foreign laborers are employed in a variety of contexts from construction and domestic service to factory work, at multiple skill levels. This study employs population, political economic, globalization, and state theory in combination with survey questionnaires, interviews, and official data to decipher the movements of laborers from “exporting”states to Taiwan. Major foci include the creation of a labor import policy, the role of the state in both labor supply and demand contexts, the evolution of the policy with special consideration for economic restructuring, social constructions of workers, and forms of resistance. Findings indicate a strong role for the state through the identification of seven points of importance in which the state is involved and creates a geography of international labor migration. An additional conclusion identifies the purpose for promotion of overseas employment: the de facto development of extraterritorial income-generating space.