De Vito Labour Flexibility.pdf (799.46 kB)
Labour flexibility and labour precariousness as conceptual tools for the historical study of the interactions between labour relations
chapterposted on 2015-11-16, 10:41 authored by Christian G. De Vito
This essay seeks to highlight the potential of the concepts of labour flexibility and labour precariousness in developing the historical study of the interactions between (“free” and “unfree”) labour relations. At the same time, it highlights the impact of a global and long - term approach to labour flexibility and labour precariousness on the contemporary debate in this field. To this double aim, I define labour flexibility as the relative advantage attached by employers and policy - makers to certain labour relations, based on the opportunity to recruit, locate and manage workforces in the place, time and task most conducive to the former’s own economic and political goals. In other words, labour flexibility express es the employers’ and policy - makers’ quest to synchronise the availability of what they perceive as the most appropriate workforce, with their productive and political needs. In turn, labour precariousness is defined here as the workers’ own perception of their (lack of) control over their labour power, in relation to other workers, the labour market, and the social reproduction of their workforce. [First Paragraph]
CitationDe Vito, C, Labour flexibility and labour precariousness as conceptual tools for the historical study of the interactions between labour relations, in Karl-Heinz Roth (ed) 'On the Road to Global Labour History. A Festschrift for Marcel van der Linden', Brill, 2017, pp. 219-241.
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of History
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