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.
all spheres of social life.
The emergence of a political, corporate, societal and academic discourse of
flexibility has become a highly visible everyday face of the globalisation
debate. Flexibility, as featured in the statements of international economic
institutions, national governments and corporations (see, for example World
Bank, 1995; OECD, 1996; Beatson, 1995; Department for International
Development, 2000), has become a multifarious concept and a universal
panacea. It is presented as synonymous with deregulatory government, lean
production and the flexible