Reconfiguring Labour and Welfare in Emerging Economies of the Global South
Date: 7 – 8 December 2021
Convenors: Minh Nguyen (Bielefeld, GER), Jake Lin (Bielefeld, GER), Ngoc Minh Luong (Bielefeld, GER), Yueran Tian (Bielefeld, GER)
In recent years, various countries in the Global South and the former Soviet Bloc have been introducing new social protection programs such as cash transfers, basic pension or health insurance. Despite the universal claim, the efficacy of these programs in reducing inequality and protecting the needy, particularly amongst the large number of migrant workers in global factories and in the service sector, remains unclear. Among others, these programs often provide the very conditions for the privatisation of welfare, notably through its financialisation, which generates a great deal of uncertainty. The seemingly convergent experiences across these Global South contexts provide a good opportunity for this interdisciplinary workshop to explore the implications of these welfare shifts for the care and protection of labour, which has also been undergoing major restructuring with the emergence of new forms of work. In particular, the workshop convenors would like to bring the findings of their research project on welfare for migrant factory workers in Vietnam and China into dialogue with research taking place in other contexts. Our comparative undertaking will generate important insights into the struggles and politics underpinning the reconfiguration of welfare in the Global South and its linkage to the global restructuring of labour.