Category archives for Rethinking Recovery

Will ‘Decent Work’ or Victorian brutality mark India’s dash for the top?

While the government attempts to weaken labour regulations, the organisation of India’s many million informal labourers is likely to gather pace Although all too often glossed over, Victorian Britain’s harsh working conditions are no secret: ‘Children of nine or ten years…dragged from their squalid beds at two, three, or four o’clock in the morning and compelled to work for a subsistence … Continue reading

16 August 2016 by
Categories: Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | 1 comment

Growth and degradation in UK apparel manufacturing

Low paid, precarious and informal employment is commonplace in a sector shaped by new regulatory regimes and global manufacturing trends How is it that wages in the apparel manufacturing sector in the UK have been pushed well below the national minimum wage, and basic work and employment standards are frequently violated? Even in one of the industries most exposed to … Continue reading

9 August 2016 by
Categories: Employment, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: | Leave a comment

Parcel Delivery Workers and the degradation of work

Life for voiceless, low paid parcel delivery workers exposes the harsh realities of degraded work in 21st century Britain On July 11th, Theresa May, heralded a new direction for her government: hard pressed workers would be given a voice on company boards and the excessive earnings inequalities that have become an entrenched feature of our workplaces should be reined-in. Though … Continue reading

2 August 2016 by
Categories: Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: | 1 comment

Modern slavery and the gendered paradoxes of labour unfreedom

Alessandra Mezzadri

Why labour unfreedom is a more useful category than modern slavery to challenge exploitative working relations at home and abroad Since the financial crisis, the partial recovery of profitability of business has happened at the expenses of workers worldwide. In the UK, improvements in employment rates have been paralleled by a decline in real wages. Abroad, countries hosting global labour-intensive … Continue reading

26 July 2016 by
Categories: Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austerity has transformed the meaning and morality of work in the UK

Craig Berry

Measuring economic success through levels of employment obscures the unsustainable and oppressive nature of the UK’s recovery Work has of course always been central to capitalist organisation, since the ability of capital to extract surplus value from labour is at the essential core of accumulation processes. In post-crisis UK, however, work has become not only integral to the function of … Continue reading

19 July 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Poverty chains and global capitalism

Reorienting value generated within ‘global poverty chains’ is essential to improve the lives of an impoverished world labour force Contemporary global capitalism is characterised by extreme wealth concentration and a rapidly expanding and largely impoverished global labour force. Mainstream institutions such as the World Bank and International Labour Organisation encourage integration into global value chains as a development strategy that, … Continue reading

12 July 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, trade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Labour market exploitation and austerity in the UK

Stopping labour exploitation requires effective regulation of the labour market, not scapegoating migrant and vulnerable workers Explaining the Conservative government’s decision to appoint a Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire declared: ‘Exploiting or coercing people into work is not acceptable.  It is not right that unscrupulous employers can force people to work or live in very poor … Continue reading

5 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Human rights, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Recovery for whom?

Genevieve LeBaron

Corporate profits are soaring, but so is labour exploitation. Who is the ‘recovery’ really benefiting? Has the labour market ‘recovered’ since the 2008-09 financial crisis? The answer to this question depends on whom you ask. The labour market is a central part of the UK’s ‘economic recovery’ narrative advanced by political and economic elites. In his address on June 27th … Continue reading

4 July 2016 by
Categories: Employment, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The political economy of ‘good parenting’

‘Good parenting’ is grounded in a white middle-class ideal of what the family is and thus shifts responsibility for nurturing from society to individuals, mostly women Family breakdown and poor parenting have hit the headlines in Britain in recent years as the proclaimed reasons for a large range of societal problems, from youth rioting to youth unemployment to teenage pregnancy.  … Continue reading

8 September 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Inequality, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deficit fetishism and the art of political bullshit: Part I

Jonathan Hopkin and Ben Rosamond

Attempts to refute bullshit by appeals to the ‘facts’ are likely to be unsuccessful as argumentative strategies Debates about economic policy in the recent UK General Election campaign were dominated by one particular claim: that the last Labour government, which left office in 2010, was wholly responsible for the deficit.  This claim became a central plank of the Conservative Party’s … Continue reading

15 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | 1 comment

Labour and the ideology of aspiration

Matthew Donoghue

The party’s attempt to promote some relatively centre-left policies during the general election was contradicted by its acceptance of other dominant right-wing discourses In the aftermath of an election defeat described by some as the ‘greatest crisis’ the party has ever faced, many key Labour personalities have already offered their analysis of where things went wrong.  One argument that gained … Continue reading

8 July 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery V

Alex Nunn

Intergenerational and gender-based inequality: before and after the crisis The new Conservative government is persisting with billions of pounds of cuts despite rising evidence of poverty and inequality, particularly for young people, children and women. These cuts will only serve to reinforce generational and gender-based inequality. Just over a week ago on 20 June tens of thousands of people marched in … Continue reading

1 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery IV

Britain’s recovery industry: profiting from austerity? This post investigates the burgeoning ‘recovery industry’ in Britain.  As the government cuts welfare and pushes people into precarious labour markets in the name of austerity, it is simultaneously opening up new spheres of profitability for firms.  This is stabilising the status quo of profits over people who are being pushed to produce a … Continue reading

24 June 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery III

Ruth Cain

The gendered impact of Universal Credit As part of the Conservative Government’s welfare reform, Universal Credit (UC) is now being rolled out across the UK.  UC negatively and disproportionately impacts women and low-paid families.  Not only does it do little to address the social crises sparked by austerity, it also enacts punitive sanctions on to individuals unable to amass sufficient … Continue reading

17 June 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery II

Mary Evans

The long, rocky ride of crisis and austerity In this next post of the series, it is suggested that the discursive justifications of austerity and touting of the moral certainty of markets advanced by politicians hide the fact that capitalism’s crises are always borne by the poor and the weak. It has long been taken for granted, by Marxists and … Continue reading

10 June 2015 by
Categories: Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Rethinking Recovery I

SPERI PERC

Inequality and insecurity in UK households This is the first in a series of ten SPERI Comments on the theme of rethinking recovery.  In this introductory post the authors warn that measurements of, and debates about, economic recovery in the UK have tended to overlook deepening inequality along the lines of class, gender, race, ability, age and sexuality. Whether the … Continue reading

3 June 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Global crisis, Housing, Inequality, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment