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Centre on Labour and Global Production (CLGP)

 

The Centre on Labour and Global Production (CLGP) draws upon a critical mass of researchers across different disciplinary areas at Queen Mary University of London who are engaged in research on the changing position of workers, labour and regulation in the world economy. We understand the world economy as a set of value creating and appropriating activities rooted in particular spaces and material dynamics of production connected through global networks of economic activity. The world economy is organised around value chains and production networks that traverse national boundaries as well as the gendered hierarchies of so-called domestic vs. productive labour, and which articulate people and places across countries and regions in a diversity of production-consumption relations. These inter-dependent relations are not just economic ones, but are always-already socially, historically, spatially and ecologically embedded, and invariably shaped by relations of subordination and domination. Regulation plays a central role here, within states, among them and in layered forms of private ordering. As such, the question of labour in the global economy today is concerned with the uneven working conditions, labour standards, precarious work, affective labour, unpaid work, child labour, forms of representation and worker organisation that arise from these inter-dependent global economic relations. Any attempt to understand these issues requires an interdisciplinary social scientific approach.

The Centre on Labour and Global Production brings together such an interdisciplinary group drawing upon a diversity of backgrounds including Development Studies, Economic Geography, Critical Management Studies and International Political Economy. We are committed to the careful study of actually-existing social relations. Our work is theoretically informed but uses theory as a guide to interpret contingent historical-geographical worlds around us, not a predetermined blueprint.

 

Members

 



Dr Elena Baglioni (School of Business and Management, QMUL) holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Bologna. Elena’s research interests include global value chains with in food and natural resources industries, agrarian political economy and economic geography. Her most recent interests span labour process analysis within food commodity chains, as well as the political economy of natural resource industries. She is also currently working around on going processes of land grabbing in sub-Saharan Africa through collaboration with Future Agricultural Consortium at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She is part of the Historical Materialism and World Development Research Seminar (HMWDRS) collective.


Dr Mirela Barbu (School of Geography, QMUL) earned a PhD in Economic Geography from the University of Sussex. Her research interests include: regional inequalities and the political economy of the enlarged Europe; geographies of globalization; labour markets, welfare states and policy change in Europe. Barbu joined Queen Mary in September 2015 to work on an ESRC-funded research project which aims to analyse the ‘new generation’ of the European Union’s free trade agreements, including elements relating to labour standards, and to assess impacts on national institutional frameworks and leading economic sectors in three countries.


Mark Bergfeld (QMUL) is a PhD student in the School of Business and Management. His research investigates im/migrants and their forms of self-organization in Germany, Britain and the US. He pays particular attention to how im/migrants' self-organization in the workplace and community shape trade unions, management and legislation.


Dr Michael Shane Boyle's (School of English and Drama, QMUL) research focuses on the use of performance in political movements, the relationship between performance and labour, and theatre historiography— mostly in Germany and the United States. He is in the midst of a research project examining business logistics and containerisation through the lens of performance, and has published articles on gender and race in international performance, tackling topics such as feminist theatre.



Dr Liam Campling (CLGP Director, School of Business and Management, QMUL) is the Director of the Centre. He works on the relationship between global production, international trade, and the political economy of development and the environment. He is currently involved in an ESRC funded project on the role of labour standards in EU free trade agreements and is also working on a monograph titled Capitalism and the Sea (Verso, forthcoming).


Professor Kavita Datta (School of Geography, QMUL) is a development geographer whose research focuses on transnational migration from the global South to the North. This interest has been developed in a series of independent or collaborative projects investigating the changing nature, politics and sensibility of work and transnational migration to global cities like London. 


Steffen Fischer (PhD student, School of Business and Management and School of Geography, QMUL) is the editor of the Centre’s working papers series. He is interested in how subnational labour regimes are connected to and shape global production and state-labour relations. He is currently teaching in SBM, researching and writing publications based on his PhD.  


Katy Fox-Hodess' (PhD student in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley) work focuses on labor, globalization and political economy. Her dissertation examines contemporary international solidarity among dockworkers' unions in Europe and Latin America.



Professor Gerard Hanlon (School of Business and Management, QMUL) has published widely across sociology, law, accountancy, health and management.  His recent work focuses on neo-liberalism, the changing nature of work and subjectivity, the shift from a real to a total subsumption of labour to capital, innovation and entrepreneurship.  He has also been researching the links between neo-liberal management, anti-democratic thought and organisation. 


Amy Horton

Amy Horton (School of Geography, QMUL) is a PhD candidate in the School of Geography. Her research examines the impacts of financial investment in eldercare on workers and services. She also investigates organising by social and labour movements within the care sector, in the UK and US.


Jonathan Jones (PhD student, School of Business and Management and School of Geography, QMUL) is researching the role of labour in the maritime logistics sector, with a focus on the opportunities and challenges that developments in distribution methods, technology and employment practices bring about for workers' collective organisation. 


Professor Sukhdev Johal's (School of Business and Management, QMUL) most recent research interests include critical research on UK finance, how to adapt social and economic statistics to understand employment and wealth changes in the UK, and how local authorities can adapt local CSR policies to promote economic democracy and local supply chains. He has a long standing interest in financialization and how it affects the behaviours and performance of large companies. Alongside academic publishing he has worked on public interest reports on public policy issues such as UK rail privatization, an alternative report on UK banking reform, regional growth disparities and old age care.


Dr Ashok Kumar's (School of Geography, QMUL) research examines labour-intensive sectors having written on capital-labour relations in India, China, and Honduras. Kumar is currently working on a book on the relationship between capital (consolidation, upgrading, relocation) and labour (agency, strategy and bargaining power) in garment and footwear production. 


Ku'ulei Lewis's (PhD Student - School of Business and Management, QMUL) is a PhD student in the School of Business and Management. Her research investigates the management of global value chains, with a specific interest in the role that law and policy play in GVC governance and labour rights.



Giuliano  Maielli's (School of Business and Management, QMUL) research revolves around issues of technological, organisational and institutional path dependence, path confirmation and path creation. His empirical work analyses the emergence of meta-routines and meta-practices to explain 'structural hegemony' and 'architectural leverage' within organizations and across a platform’s constitutive elements. He focuses predominantly on production and R&D processes within car manufacturing and IT (smart devices and the Internet of Things). His research can be divided into three streams: the 'organisation theory stream' contextualises path-dependence processes within relations of production and proposes a neo-Gramscian interpretation of the agency-structure interplay within path-dependent phenomena based on the distinction between structural hegemony and hegemonic projects; the 'business history stream' looks at the emergence and transformation of routines and meta-routines within organizations and across occupational blocs; and the 'open innovation stream' which addresses platforms as meta-organizations in order to analyse the phenomena of platform leadership and architectural leverage. 



Dr Matteo Mandarini's (School of Business and Management, QMUL) research interests are in the relation of conflict to the transformations of capitalism. Drawing on Italian Operaismo and the broader Marxist tradition, his work is focused on the ways conflict is both theorised and organised at a time when the concepts and structures foundational of political modernity are seemingly being eroded by the dynamics of global capital.


Professor Cathy McIlwaine (School of Geography, QMUL) works on issues of gender, poverty, civil society, as well as everyday urban and gender-based violence in the Global South. She also has interests in migrant labour and transnational livelihoods, especially among the Latin American community in London where she works at the interface of policy and academic work. McIlwaine is currently working on an ESRC-funded project on Healthy, Secure and Just Cities that explores Violence Against Women and Girls among Brazilian women in London and among women in Rio de Janeiro. 



Dr Martha Prevezer's (School of Business and Management, QMUL) research over the years has been on two main themes: geographical industrial clustering, the emergence of new technologies and regional development in developed and emerging markets and the institutions associated with those processes; and comparative corporate governance and the institutions of governance and ownership of firms, also across developed and emerging markets. A book for Routledge, Varieties of Capitalism in History, Transition and Emergence: New Perspectives on Institutional Development, is coming out in 2017. The book is about institutional development, meaning both primary institutions of different types of property rights, contract enforcement and the state, and also comparative corporate governance institutions governing the balance between stock markets, banks, different ownership structures and control. It joins up the debate over the role of primary institutions in economic growth and development of poor countries with work on varieties of capitalism and the institutional variation in corporate governance, comparing histories of Britain, Continental Europe, US, China and Tanzania.


David Quentin (PhD student, School of Business and Management and Centre for Commercial Law Studies, QMUL) uses Marxian value theory to critique the assumptions of the OECD's "BEPS" process and to analyse the global corporate tax system more generally.  His research focuses on the role played by materially unproductive labour, intellectual property, fiduciary relations and transnational corporate ontology in the shaping of the state-capital relation in twenty-first century capitalism.



Dr Amit S. Rai (School of Business and Management, QMUL) teaches business ethics and creative industries at QMUL. He has written Rule of Sympathy: Race, Sentiment, Power 1760-1860 (Palgrave, 2002) and Untimely Bollywood: Globalization and India’s New Media Assemblage (Duke UP, 2009). His most recent publication is "The Affect of Jugaad: Frugal Innovation and Postcolonial Practice in India's Mobile Phone Ecologies" in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2015). His current research is focused on affective labor, media practices of commoning, and hacking and piracy ecologies in South Asia. He is at work on a monograph on work-around practices in Indian urban digital ecologies, tentatively titled, Jugaad Time: Media, Attention, and Value (Duke University Press, forthcoming).


Professor Adrian Smith (School of Geography, QMUL) works on global production and the political economy of uneven development. Much of his research has focused on the European Union's integration of neighbouring regions into regionalised production networks, and he is currently working on the role of labour standards in EU free trade agreements. He has recently published Articulations of Capital: Global Production Networks and Regional Transformations (Wiley, 2016, with John Pickles, Robert Begg, Milan Bucek, Poli Roukova and Rudolf Pastor) and is Editor-in-Chief of European Urban and Regional Studies.


Dr Philippa Williams (School of Geography, QMUL) is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography. Her research concerns questions about citizenship and marginality within the context of organised and informal economies in India. Her book Everyday peace: politics, citizenship and Muslim lives in India looks in part, at working and social relations in the silk sari industry in Varanasi north India.

**Our events are open only to Members and Affiliates unless otherwise indicated**

It is expected that participants will have read the working papers in advance (circulated via email). This is to reduce presentation time and encourage fuller discussion. If you are interested in joining any of these sessions, including the commitment to read in advance, please email: Liam Campling: l.campling@qmul.ac.uk

Thurs 4-6pm, 26 January
Reading group on Guido Starosta (2016) ‘Revisiting the New International Division of Labour Thesis’, in The New International Division of Labour Global Transformation and Uneven Development, edited by Greig Charnock and Guido Starosta, Palgrave Macmillan
The City Centre Seminar Room, Second Floor, Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Thurs 4-6pm, 9 February
Mark Bergfeld (SBM), ‘Democracy, Leadership and the foundations of im/migrant worker power: A comparative analysis of im/migrant worker organisations in Berlin, New York and London’
The City Centre Seminar Room, Second Floor, Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Thurs 4-6pm, 23 March
Kirsty Newsome (University of Sheffield) on value, logistics and parcel delivery workers.
The City Centre Seminar Room, Second Floor, Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Thurs 4-6pm, 27 April
Ben Selwyn (University of Sussex), ‘The Struggle for Development’
Room 4.27a (Boardroom), Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Thurs 2-6pm, 4 May (to be confirmed) **open to the public**
Symposium on mapping precariousness on the occasion of the launch of  Mapping Precariousness, Labour Insecurity and Uncertain Livelihoods: Subjectivities and Resistance, edited by Emiliana Armano (State University of Milan), Arianna Bove (Queen Mary University of London) and Annalisa Murgia (Leeds Business School) (Routledge, 2017)

Weds 4-6pm, 17 May.
Steffen Fischer (Geography/SBM) ‘Iron rules or relations? Labour regimes in the Liberian iron ore commodity chain’
Room 4.27a (Boardroom), Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Date tbc June (to be confirmed) **open to the public**
End of year workshop on labour regimes in China and Chinese labour regimes overseas

2016

2016 Semester 1
Except for Cédric Durand all sessions are open only to CLGP members or affiliates. It is expected that participants will have read the working papers in advance (circulated via email or on the CLGP website). This is to reduce presentation time and encourage fuller discussion. If you are interested in joining any of these sessions, including the commitment to read in advance, please email: Liam Campling: l.campling@qmul.ac.uk

Thursday 3 November 4-6pm
Reading group: session 2 on financialisation and labour.
Cushon, J. and Thompson, P. (2016) ‘Financialization and value: why labour and the labour process still matter’, Work, Employment and Society, 30 (2): 352-365 Tony Norfield 2016, ‘Finance, Economics and Politics’, Salvage, (August) http://salvage.zone/in-print/finance-economics-and-politics/
Room 4.27a (Boardroom), Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Thursday 17 November 4-6pm
‘Global Value Chains and Labour Standards in the European Union’s Free Trade Agreements’ (with James Harrison and Ben Richardson) Mirela Barbu, Liam Campling and Adrian Smith (Queen Mary University of London)
The City Centre Seminar Room, Second Floor, Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Monday 28 November 4-6pm** [open to the public, but please register in advance]
‘Uneven development patterns in global value chains. An empirical inquiry based on a conceptualization of GVCs as a specific form of the division of labor’ (with Bruno Carballa Smichowski and Steven Knauss) Cédric Durand (Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris 13)
The City Centre Seminar Room, Second Floor, Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Thursday 8 December 4-6pm
‘Human Rights or Class Struggle? Varieties of Dockworker Unionism in Latin America’
Katy Fox-Hodess (University of California-Berkeley)
The City Centre Seminar Room, Second Floor, Francis Bancroft, Queen Mary University of London

Steffen Fischer (School of Business and Management and School of Geography at QMUL) is the editor of the Centre’s working papers series: s.fischer@qmul.ac.uk

All presenters at CLGP events are encouraged to submit a working paper in advance. These papers will be made available online or circulated by email among Members and Affiliates.

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