Edited by Robert C. Kloosterman, Virginie Mamadouh and Pieter Terhorst
Chapter 13: Labour geographies in a globalizing world
The aim of the chapter is to unpack trends around precarization of labour, while highlighting increasing disparities in power and wealth in the global economy. It does so through three analytical lenses: the ‘bordering’ of precarious and migrant labour, labour geography, and labour regimes. The three varyingly utilize geographical tools including space, place and scale, however, rather than restrict analysis to intra-Geography literature the chapter instead briefly investigates these three approaches from a wider disciplinary optic. The study of borders and states’ efforts to manage mobile capital and labour emphasizes the mutable and multiple spaces that migrants traverse, offering opportunities and constraints for socio-economic entitlements. Studies on labour geography and labour regimes offer accounts of both mechanisms of labour control at the workplace and how workers co-determine the labour process and wider regimes of accumulation. At stake is developing better understanding of how labour regimes reproduce excessive share of profits to capital at labour’s expense, how and why workers acquiesce to their own exploitation, and the cracks and fissures that emerge in labour regimes over time – highlighting both workers’ success stories as well as failures, as part of wider efforts to mitigate inequalities inherent in contemporary capitalism.
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