A global, interdisciplinary graduate student research conference
May 27 - 28, 2011
Covel Commons - UCLA Campus
It is critical to reexamine the position of labor in the global South, in the context of momentous changes underway in the global economic and political order. Consider some of those changes: Newly rising powers, such as Brazil, China, and South Africa, are assuming greater roles. Increasing numbers of voices are questioning neoliberal prescriptions and market fundamentalist solutions, and pushing for a broader conception of development that includes social as well as economic dimensions. New movements for democracy are stirring in the Middle East, along with continuing struggles over the degree and nature of democracy across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. At the same time, informal and irregular employment continue to make up a huge proportion of jobs in the global South, and the fickleness of global capital flows undermines attempts to carry out sustainable development and upgrade job quality. The UN estimates that over 200 million people world-wide are international migrants (above all from poorer to richer countries), and migrant remittances constitute a major income strategy for families and indeed whole countries in the South.
In this context, it is important to take stock of the state of work and workers in the global South, and to share best practices and critiques of strategies to upgrade jobs and empower workers. This conference will bring together graduate students from the United States and around the world to bring their own research to bear on these issues. The goal is not just to exchange information, but to advance discussions about strategies and solutions. To this end, graduate student presentations, which will make up the bulk of conference content, will be supplemented by innovative labor-related practitioners from the South, in addition to senior academics from the United States.
This event is presented by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).