Senior Lecturer in Development Studies
Member, Centre for Gender Studies
Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute
Research Cluster Convenor
Research Cluster Member
- Dr Alessandra Mezzadri
- Email address:
- 0207 898 4533
- SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
- Russell Square: College Buildings
- Office No:
- Academic Support Hours:
- Wednesdays 10am -12pm
- On Sabbatical:
- Term 2 & 3 (2019/20)
Alessandra holds degrees in Economics from La Sapienza, Rome, and in Development Studies from SOAS, where she completed a PhD on the ‘making’ of cheap labour in the Indian garment industry, with an emphasis on the labour regime characterising the industry and its global and localised patterns of labour control. She writes and teaches on issues related to inequality and trade; global commodity chains and production networks; labour informality, informalisation and labour regimes; global labour standards, CSR and Modern Slavery; feminisms in development; gender and globalization; approaches to social reproduction and reproductive labour; and India’s political economy.
Alessandra has actively engaged with international organizations and NGOs such as the ILO, ActionAid, Labour Behind the Label, War on Want, SEWA-India and Anti-Slavery International on issues related to gender and work, global labour standards, anti-sweatshop campaigning and tackling modern slavery.
- French: fair
- Spanish: fair
- Hindi: intermediate
- Italian: mother tongue
Alessandra has done extensive fieldwork in India, across multiple urban, peri-urban and rural sites. Her earlier research work has focused on the architecture of production, regional labour regimes and localized patterns of labour control characterizing the Indian export-oriented garment industry; on the incorporation of India into the global garment commodity chain; and on the limitations of corporate labour standards for labour in global commodity chains and production networks. Her more recent work has focused on the specific features and complex organization of the ‘Sweatshop Regime’ in factories and home-based settings in India; on labour contracting in global production; on the links between productive and reproductive realms of work, and on the interplays between labour regimes, the labouring body and health outcomes. Her research has been funded by the ESRC-DfiD (project ‘Labour standards and the working Poor in China and India’) and by the British Academy (project ‘The global Village? Homeworking in the global economy’). She is the author of The Sweatshop regime: Labouring Bodies, Exploitation, and Garments Made in India (CUP, 2017).
Alessandra is currently working on Marxian analysis as fieldwork method; on the links between social reproduction and informal labour debates; and on productive and reproductive temporalities of exploitation in labour-intensive industries, including post-work dynamics. She welcomes PhD applications with a focus on India’ informal economy, on social reproduction and its link to productive work; on the global garment industry; on the politics of global labour standards and Modern Slavery; and on gender and globalisation and/or global commodity chains and production networks and labour more broadly.
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Interviewed for radio broadcasting (BBC and Share Radio).
- Short Term Consultancy
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2017) The Sweatshop Regime: Labouring Bodies, Exploitation and Garments Made in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2020) 'The Informal Labours of Social Reproduction'. Global Labour Journal, (11) 2, pp 156-163.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2019) 'On the value of social reproduction: Informal labour, the majority world and the need for inclusive theories and politics'. Radical Philosophy, (2) 4, pp 33-41.
Mezzadri, Alessandra and Lulu, Fan (2018) '‘Classes of Labour’ at the Margins of Global Commodity Chains in India and China'. Development and Change, (49) 4, pp 1034-1063.
Prentice, Rebecca and De Neve, Geert and Mezzadri, Alessandra and Ruwanpura, Kanchana N. (2017) 'Health and Safety in Garment Workers’ Lives: Setting a New Research Agenda'. Geoforum, (88) Jan, pp 157-160.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2016) 'Class, gender and the sweatshop: on the nexus between labour
commodification and exploitation'. Third World Quarterly, (37) 10, pp 1877-1900.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2016) 'The informalization of capital and interlocking in labour contracting networks'. Progress in Development Studies, (16) 2, pp 124-139.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2015) 'Why inequality matters – for the rich and the poor'. The Conversation UK [Online].
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2015) 'A ‘song of the wage’ for Rana Plaza'. New Internationalist.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2015) ''Free to stitch, or starve: capitalism and unfreedom in the global garment industry''. Open Democracy: Beyond Trafficking and Slavery.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2014) 'Backshoring, local sweatshop regimes and CSR in India'. Competition & Change, (18) 4, pp 327-344.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2014) 'Cambodian sweatshop protests reveal the blood on our clothes'. The Conversation UK.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2014) 'Indian Garment Clusters and CSR Norms: Incompatible Agendas at the Bottom of the Garment Commodity Chain'. Oxford Development Studies, (42) 2, pp 217-237.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2014) 'Are Ethical Initiatives Successful
in the Indian Garment Industry? A Focus on Homeworkers'. Development Viewpoint 83.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2012) 'Reflections on Globalisation and Labour Standards in the Indian Garment Industry: Codes of Conduct Versus ‘Codes of Practice’ Imposed by the Firm'. Global Labour Journal, (3) 1, pp 40-62.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2010) 'Globalisation, informalisation and the state in the Indian garment industry'. International Review of Sociology, (20) 3, pp 491-511.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2009) 'The global footloose proletariat and the financial crisis: reflections on the contradictions of export-oriented industrialisation in India'. Global Labour Column 5.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2008) 'How Globalised Production Exploits Informal-Sector Workers:
Investigating the Indian Garment Sector'. Development Viewpoint 12.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2008) 'The rise of neo-liberal globalisation and the ‘new old’ social regulation of labour: the case of Delhi garment sector'. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, (51) 4, pp 603-618.
Baglioni, Elena and Mezzadri, Alessandra (2020) 'Labour Control Regimes and Social Reproduction: Some Reflections on the Strengths and Weaknesses of an Evolving Framework'. In: Hammer, Anita and Fishwick, Adam, (eds.), The Political Economy of Work in the Global South. London: Macmillan Education, pp 115-130.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2017) 'Class, gender and the sweatshop: on the nexus between labour commodification and exploitation'. In: Pattenden, J. and Campling, L. and Miyamura, S. and Selwyn, B., (eds.), Class Dynamics of Development. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2017) 'Garment Sweatshop Regimes, the Laboring Body, and the Externalization of Social Responsibility over Health and Safety Provisions'. In: Prentice, Rebecca and De Neve, Geert, (eds.), Unmaking the global sweatshop: health and safety of the world’s garment workers. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp 173-199.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2010) 'Assessing the Effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility as a Tool for ‘Poverty Reduction through Productive Activities’: The Case of the Delhi Garment Cluster'. Growth, Exports and Technological Change in Developing Countries. Vienna: UNIDO, pp 148-165.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2009) ''Neoliberalism, Industrial Restructuring and Labour: Lessons from the Delhi Garment Industry''. In: Saad Filho, Alfredo and Yalman, Galip L., (eds.), Economic Transitions to Neoliberalism in Middle Income Countries- Policy Dilemmas, Economic Crises, Forms of Resistance. Abingdon: Routledge.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2008) 'Feminise without Unionise: the Indian Garment sector and its lack of solidarity'. Missing Links in Sustainable Development: South Asian Perspectives. Islamabad: SDPI/Sama, pp 105-130.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2007) 'The limitation of corporate social responsibility in the Indian garment sector: a case study from the Delhi industrial area at the end of the Multi Fibre Agreement'. At the crossroads: South Asian Research, Policy and Development in a Globalised World. Islamabad: SDPI/Sama, pp 16-35.
Mezzadri, Alessandra and Majumder, Sanjita (2018) The ‘Afterlife’ of Cheap Labour: Bangalore Garment Workers from Factories to the Informal Economy. FEDI and Cividep Working Paper: .
Lerche, Jens and Mezzandri, Alessandra and Chang, Dae-Oup and Ngai, Pun and Huilin, Ku and Aiyu, Liu and Srivastava, Ravi (2017) The Triple Absence of Labour Rights:
Triangular Labour Relations and Informalisation
in the Construction and Garment Sectors in Delhi and Shanghai.. London: SOAS University of London.
Mezzadri, Alessandra and Srivastava, Ravi (2015) Labour regimes in the Indian garment sector: capital-labour relations, social reproduction and labour standards in the National Capital Region. London: CDPR SOAS.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2015) 'Garment Sweatshop Regimes: The Informalisation of Social Responsibility over Health and Safety Provisions', Working paper 30/2015. CDPR.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2016) 'Review of: Labour State and Society in Rural India: A Class Relational Approach, by Jonathan Pattenden. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016.'. Journal of Agrarian Change, (16) 4, pp 737-740.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2016) 'Review of: ‘Gender, Development and
Globalization: Economics As If All People Mattered’ (Second Edition) by Lourdes Benería, Günseli Berik and Maria S. Floro. Routledge, 2016.'. Gender & Development, (24) 2, pp 329-330.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2014) 'Review of 'At work in the informal economy of India: a perspective from the bottom up', by Jan Breman (2013)'. Journal of Agrarian Change, (14) 3, pp 466-470.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2011) 'Review of 'Africa's Informal Workers: collective agency, alliances and transnational organising in urban Africa’ edited by Ilda Lindell'. Journal of Modern African Studies, (49) 2, pp 344-345.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2020) A crisis like no other: social reproduction and the regeneration of capitalist life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2019) All is revealed: how productivity barely covers anything in fast fashion prices..
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2019) Review of: 'We the Workers'. Directed by Wen Hai. New York: Icarus Films, 2017. 174 minutes..
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2019) Rana Plaza, Six Years On: We Will Not Shop Where We Cannot Struggle.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2019) The march out of the sweatshop: on work and life after the garment factory.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2017) 'Machines: Watch this documentary to understand the working poverty of the sweatshop' The Conversation.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2017) 'Sweatshop Regime' The Page 99 Test.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2016) 'Modern slavery and the gendered paradoxes
of labour unfreedom' openDemocracy [online].
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2016) 'Working poverty in many sizes: A survey of Delhi garment workers challenges key assumptions in the labour standards debate' Global Labour Column.
Mezzadri, Alessandra (2015) 'Mr Modi and the working poor' SOAS South Asia Notes.
This list was last generated on Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 11:10 Europe/London.