Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Tod Rutherford


Aerospace Multinational Corporations, Corporate Capture, Global Production Networks, Governance, Skills, Variegated Capitalism

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


In today’s globalized world, the power of influence of multinational corporations over the state and society is significant. One particular area is related to how MNCs have influenced states and public educational institutions in order to shape their educational agendas and training initiatives. Many scholars have conceptualized such an influence as processes of corporate capture. In this dissertation, I examine and compare the existing processes of corporate capture related to Boeing and Embraer in the regional training systems of Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A., and São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil. I also investigate how their distinctive state forms and their forms of governance account for differences in the evolution of such processes. This research, drawing from Neo-Marxist theories of the state and labor geography, critically engages with FDI studies and the GPN literature. Methodologically, this dissertation is based on qualitative cross-national comparative methods. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2014 and 2017, when fifty-nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with state managers, representatives from educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and firms, among others. In this research I develop two major arguments. First, I argue that the evolution of processes of corporate capture in the regional training systems of São José dos Campos and Charleston is intrinsically connected to their accumulation strategies and state forms. However, such an evolution happens through different mechanisms and is related to different state scales. Second, I turn my attention to the local forms of governance of Charleston and São José dos Campos, claiming that they reinforce processes of corporate capture at the local scale. I argue that their tendency to reinforce processes of corporate capture in training has to be comprehended alongside with their state form and type of state selectivity.


Open Access