Renewing International Labour Studies: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Renewing International Labour Studies

1st Edition

Edited by Marcus Taylor


216 pages

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This volume seeks to re-energise the paradigm of the New International Labour Studies by detailing how struggles over the construction, reproduction, utilisation and restructuring of labour forces are the contested social foundations upon which the global economy stands.

Through a combination of theoretical works and a series of case studies, the volume highlights the cutting edge of international labour studies. Its expands on three pivotal areas of study within the discipline:1) the social construction of new labour forces across an expanding international division of labour; 2) the self-organising potential of workers, particularly within non-traditional sectors; and 3) the possibilities for transborder labour movements to help address the asymmetrical power relationships between globalised capital and localised labour.

In addressing these themes, the volume helps explain not only how the contemporary international division of labour is produced and reproduced, but also the strengths and limits to current attempts to overcome its unequal and divisive nature.

This book was published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly.

Table of Contents

1. Who Works for Globalisation? The Challenges and Possibilities for International Labour Studies Marcus Taylor Part 1: The Social Construction of Labour for the Global Economy 2. Modes of Production, Rules for Reproduction and Gender: The Fabrication of China’s Textile Manufacturing Workforce since the late Empire Etienne Cantin 3. Gendering Liberalisation and Labour Reform in Malaysia: Fostering ‘Competitiveness’ in the Productive and Reproductive Economies Juanita Elias 4. China’s New Labour Contract Law: Is China Moving Towards Increased Power for Workers? Haiyan Wang, Richard P. Appelbaum, Francesca DeGiuli and Nelson Lichtenstein 5. From Fields of Power to Fields of Sweat: The Dual Process of Constructing Temporary Migrant Labour in Mexico and Canada Leigh Binford Part 2: New Working Classes, Collective Organising and Modes of Resistance 6. Disciplining Capital: Export Grape Production, the State and Class Dynamics in Northeast Brazil Ben Selwyn 7. Legal Liminality: The Gender and Labour Politics of Organising South Korea’s Irregular Workforce Jennifer Jihye Chun 8. The Radicalisation of the New Chinese Working Class: A Case Study of Collective Action in the Gemstone Industry Leung Pak Nang and Pun Ngai Part 3: Transborder Struggles, Corporate Social Responsibility and the ‘New Labour Internationalism’ 9. Local Worker Struggles in the Global South: Reconsidering Northern Impacts on International Labour Standards Don Wells 10. Labouring under an Illusion? Lesotho’s ‘Sweat-Free’ Label Gay W. Seidman 11. Jumping Scale and Bridging Space in the Era of Corporate Social Responsibility: Cross-Border Labour Struggles in the Global Garment Industry Jeroen Merk 12. Afterword: Beyond the ‘New’ International Labour Studies Ronaldo Munck Rewview Article 13. Power, Production and Solidarity: Trends in Contemporary International Labour Studies Andrew Stevens

About the Editor

Marcus Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University, Canada. He is the author of From Pinochet to the ‘Third Way’: Neoliberalism and Social Transformation in Chile (Pluto, 2006) and contributing editor of Global Economy Contested: Power and Conflict Across the International Division of Labour (2008).

About the Series


THIRDWORLDS will focus on the political economy, development and cultures of those parts of the world that have experienced the most political, social, and economic upheaval, and which have faced the greatest challenges of the postcolonial world under globalisation: poverty, displacement and diaspora, environmental degradation, human and civil rights abuses, war, hunger, and disease.

THIRDWORLDS serves as a signifier of oppositional emerging economies and cultures ranging from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and even those ‘Souths’ within a larger perceived North, such as the U.S. South and Mediterranean Europe. The study of these otherwise disparate and discontinuous areas, known collectively as the Global South, demonstrates that as globalisation pervades the planet, the south, as a synonym for subalterity, also transcends geographical and ideological frontiers.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Labor & Industrial Relations
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes