Conference: Labour Politics in an Age of Precarity

April 21-22, Cambridge

Labour Politics in an Age of Precarity is a workshop organised with CRASSH. This is going to be brilliant, we have some excellent papers and are going to discuss different forms of labour politics across the world. The programme, with abstracts, can be found here. Registration is open; and there will be a public event on mobilising precarious workers in the UK, with Jason Moyer-Lee and Henry Chango Lopez from IWGB, on April 21st at 6pm.


The idea of the workshop is to explore how labour is organized in different contexts across Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia and Europe, and what effects such organization has on labour relations under conditions of economic precarity. Papers will examine precarity as a condition of life and one of the bases for a collective politics of labour, but without prejudging how that politics might look. Instead, they will document labour politics and organisation of all kinds. The workshop speaks to debates about the continuing relevance of labour-based mobilisation for economic justice, rights and well-being in a contemporary political context that often overlooks its very real impact across the globe.

The workshop will also speak to current debates about resilience in the face of precarious conditions of life and work. In contemporary development and security discourse, resilience is usually taken to mean the ability to cope with unusual adversity or disaster, but what about the ability to cope with precarity itself? How far do informal sector workers create mechanisms of resilience that rely on collective strategies? What are they? Or does precarity instead promote individual responses to problem-solving? When does resilience become resistance or does resilience preclude resistance (or revolution)?


Thanks for support to Fritz Thyssen Foundation; and CRASSH, Centre of Latin American Studies, and Division of Social Anthropology, Cambridge.

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