Migration, Unfree Labour and Precarious Work: From Industrialization to the Global Economic Crisis

Key information

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Russell Square: College Buildings
Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)

About this event

Professor Stephen Castles

Abstract: The development of the capitalist world market has always been linked to differentiation of workers and the use of migration to create various forms of ‘unfree labour’: slavery, indentured workers, guestworkers, forced labourers, undocumented workers and so on. The differential denial of equal rights has been based on gender, race, ethnicity, legal status, national origins and on the ideology of human capital. This paper will briefly address historical antecedents, and then focus on changing modes of differentiation, contrasting the labour recruitment systems of the 1945-1970s period with the epoch of globalisation and the creation of a global labour market. Various forms of labour differentiation and denial of rights will be examined. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the acceleration of trends to the feminisation of labour and the growth of precarious temporary and casual employment arising through the global economic crisis.