Handbook on the Geographies of Globalization
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Handbook on the Geographies of Globalization

Edited by Robert C. Kloosterman, Virginie Mamadouh and Pieter Terhorst

Processes of globalization have changed the world in many, often fundamental, ways. Increasingly these processes are being debated and contested. This Handbook offers a timely, rich as well as critical panorama of these multifaceted processes with up-to-date chapters by renowned specialists from many countries. It comprises chapters on the historical background of globalization, different geographical perspectives (including world systems analysis and geopolitics), the geographies of flows (of people, goods and services, and capital), and the geographies of places (including global cities, clusters, port cities and the impact of climate change).
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Chapter 13: Labour geographies in a globalizing world

Dennis Arnold


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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