SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Beyond Neoliberalism: what is the left's project for migration?

Dr. Hannah Cross (Westminster)

Date: 11 October 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 11 October 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

Migrant labour has been central to capitalist history, defining unequal world regions over successive periods. Neoliberalism, the most recent, is rooted in the cheapening of labour and has been marked by growing division and intolerance at the core. With more than 30 years of intensified inequality, the hardening of European borders and more recent military invasions and incursions in North Africa, West African workers are joining refugees in deadly Mediterranean journeys and in ad hoc camps.

Meanwhile, the grassroots are less bleak – in addition to the mass mobilisations and struggles in Africa and elsewhere over the last decade, socialist candidates gained the largest share of the youth vote in French and UK elections in 2017, while in Greece and Spain, socialist forces have defied the brutality of the EU's immigration regime. Neoliberal regimes are exposed and fragile. The UK Labour Party’s popular 2017 manifesto tackles some underlying causes of migration in areas of foreign policy, trade and international development that break from the Thatcherite consensus. Its aims for migration itself, however, are less visionary and some of the boldest visions of the left take migrant labour for granted, implying that beyond neoliberalism, the same divided capitalist world will persist. How does the left engage meaningfully in the struggle for labour, seeking a radical departure from cheap labour regimes and profound racial division? This paper places anti-imperial and liberation movements at the centre of this struggle.

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Dr Hannah Cross Beyond Neoliberalism: what is the left's project for migration?

About the speaker

Hannah Cross is author of Migrants, Borders and Global Capitalism: West African Labour Mobility and EU Borders (Routledge 2013/16). She is a senior lecturer in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, and an editor of the Review of African Political Economy.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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