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Contemporary Issues in Labour Studies (Unfree Labour: The Evolution and Stakes of the Contemporary Debate)

Disputes over the meaning of human trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery have both provoked and coincided with a reinvigorated debate about how to conceptualize unfree labour, a phenomenon that has attracted increasing attention as neoliberal labour regimes, best exemplified by global supply chains, have become embedded across the globe. Anthropologists, development scholars, historians, geographers, feminist and international political economists as well as migration and legal scholars have added nuance to what has become a highly stylised debate between orthodox liberal and Marxian political economists about what makes labour unfree. This course will focus on how the debate has evolved, identifying different disciplinary perspectives and analytic lenses, such as feminism and critical race theory, in order to assess what’s at stake in the debate. It will consider the analytic value of the term “unfree labour,” as well as strategies and proposals to end different forms of unfree labour.


Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): Graduate Term(s): Fall Offered?: Yes Language?: No

Judy Fudge

Professor | LIUNA Enrico Henry Mancinelli Professor in Global Labour Issues