Globalisation at work:
unheard voices and invisible agency
he contemporary problematic of globalisation has encouraged a particular mode of knowledge to dominate explanations of social change.
Academic and popular discussion of all matters ‘global’ have predominantly
asked ‘what is happening’ type questions. It has become almost common sense
to seek to explain the nature of the beast itself, making reference to technological and market structures as the driving forces of change. In this formulation the everyday lives of people are positioned passively
Transnational reflections from Brazilians in London and Maré, Rio de Janeiro
Cathy McIlwaine, Miriam Krenzinger, Yara Evans, and Eliana Sousa Silva
As women comprise a majority of urban citizens in the world today, questions remain about the nature of a feminised urban future. While it is established that urbanisation has the potential to promote gender transformations (Chant and McIlwaine, 2016 ), it is important to consider how positive changes are potentially undermined by violence against women and girls (VAWG) and, concomitantly, how violence affects women’s health and wellbeing in cities. In a context whereby one in three women globally experiences such violence, with arguably higher incidence in
amorphous, ‘vague in referent’ and ‘ambiguous in usage’ (Jones,
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Globalisation, restructuring and flexibility
1995: 1). Indeed, some have concluded that the term should be abandoned to
prevent its reification in political, academic and corporate debates. However, it
is precisely the amorphous and empty nature of the concept that gives it the
capacity to exercise power. It can be filled with multiple meanings and used to
legitimate a range of restructuring programmes, from labour market flexibility and mobility, to
Bringing fresh insights to the contemporary globalization debate, this text reveals the social and political contests that give ‘global’ its meaning, by examining the contested nature of globalization as it is expressed in the restructuring of work. The book rejects conventional explanations of globalization as a process that automatically leads to transformations in working lives, or as a project that is strategically designed to bring about lean and flexible forms of production, and advances an understanding of the social practices that constitute global change. Through case studies that span from the labour flexibility debates in Britain and Germany to the strategies and tactics of corporations and workers, it examines how globalization is interpreted and experienced in everyday life and argues that contestation has become a central feature of the practices that enable or confound global restructuring.
African cities and collaborative futures: Urban platforms and metropolitan
logistics brings together scholars from across the globe to discuss the nature
of African cities – the interactions of residents with infrastructure, energy,
housing, safety and sustainability, seen through local narratives and theories.
This groundbreaking collection, drawing on a variety of fields and extensive
first-hand research, offers a fresh perspective on some of the most pressing
issues confronting urban Africa in the twenty-first century. Each of the
chapters, using case studies from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, South
Africa and Tanzania, explores how the rapid growth of African cities is
reconfiguring the relationship between urban social life and its built forms.
While the most visible transformations in cities today can be seen as
infrastructural, these manifestations are cultural as well as material,
reflecting the different ways in which the city is rationalised, economised and
governed. How can we ‘see like a city’ in twenty-first-century Africa,
understanding the urban present to shape its future? This is the central
question posed throughout this volume, with a practical focus on how academics,
local decision-makers and international practitioners can work together to
achieve better outcomes.
he mood is shifting in the contemporary globalisation debate. Only a few
years ago, talk of the contested and politicised nature of globalisation
would have met with scepticism from those who emphasise the sheer
economic power of globalising forces. The orthodox popular and academic
representations of globalisation have for several decades sustained the image
of a powerful economic and technological bulldozer that effortlessly shovels
up states and societies. The very discourse of the ‘competition state’ (Cerny,
1990) effectively sanitised
The politics of value and valuation in South Africa’s urban waste
Henrik Ernstson, Mary Lawhon, Anesu Makina, Nate Millington, Kathleen Stokes, and Erik Swyngedouw
the technological advancement of productivity through technologies such as conveyors, sorting assemblages, sophisticated trucks, compressors and mechanisms for tracking global and local price fluctuations. (For a textured illustration of the diversity of the waste industry, see the online film by Kruger et al., 2019 ).
In spite of these dynamics, the increasingly sophisticated nature of recycling and waste management in the global north has put pressures on countries of the global south to keep up with trends (see also analyses of the quest for
from the days of the dictatorship – particularly in the way the police are organised, dividing work cycles between themselves, and in their openly militarised nature. This situation is also due to the security policies used, and it would not be possible if the disastrous approach to drug laws were not so prevalent. One should note that this institutional architecture is part of the broader field of criminal justice, and that this, in turn, means that police functioning, structured in terms dictated by a constitutionally defined model, produces dual results both with
The restructuring of work and production in the international political economy
. Paradoxically, both ‘pro-globalisation’ neo-liberal accounts,
and so-called ‘anti-globalisation’ accounts reinforce the image of firms as
abstract entities, thereby obscuring the webs of power and practice that
constitute sites of production – and limiting the potential for a politicisation
of the restructuring of work and production.
It is the contention of this chapter that dominant representations of the
firm within globalisation have underplayed the contested nature of the restructuring of work. Indeed, it has become the vogue to present globalisation