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Louise Amoore

2 International political economy and global social change Political economy is concerned with the historically constituted frameworks or structures within which political and economic activity takes place. It stands back from the apparent fixity of the present to ask how the existing structures came into being and how they may be changing, or how they may be induced to change. In this sense, political economy is critical theory. (Cox, 1995: 32) T he field of IPE is inextricably bound up with understandings of global social transformation. Indeed, for many

in Globalisation contested
Open Access (free)
An international political economy of work
Author: Louise Amoore

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.

Open Access (free)
An international political economy of work
Louise Amoore

6 Conclusion: an international political economy of work I n the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, we are living in an era of social transformation that has been defined by the concept of globalisation, just as it has been shaped by programmes of restructuring carried out in the name of globalisation. Yet, our era is also one in which people’s concrete experiences of transformation are diverse and contradictory. While for some, living in a GPE means holding and managing a portfolio of shares, business travel for a MNC, and increased prosperity

in Globalisation contested
Urban platforms and metropolitan logistics

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.

Open Access (free)
Unheard voices and invisible agency
Louise Amoore

and invisible.1 Not only does this invisibility produce a serious deficit in our understandings of the dynamics of global change, but it also causes us to avert our eyes from the very sites where work and political contestation is taking place in the global political economy. As MNCs increasingly outsource their production and services, they become fractured into loosely connected sites, many of them employing unprotected and precarious workers. The programmes of restructuring in the advanced industrialised countries (AICs), whether ‘hyperflexible’ or ‘flexi

in Globalisation contested
The politics of value and valuation in South Africa’s urban waste sector
Henrik Ernstson, Mary Lawhon, Anesu Makina, Nate Millington, Kathleen Stokes, and Erik Swyngedouw

, generate employment opportunities and demonstrate due diligence towards responsible ecological governance. We are ultimately interested in how change happens and how the impact of specific interventions interacts with officially stated objectives of poverty reduction. The chapter therefore describes the dynamic institutional, technical, social and political ecological landscape of waste management in South Africa and how this in turn is shaping the practices by which waste is transformed into economic and social value, who is

in African cities and collaborative futures
Open Access (free)
From an ‘infrastructural turn’ to the platform logics of logistics
Michael Keith and Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos

-based networks of tracking and tracing on the ground contrasted with the grim spectacle seen in the capital of global finance in New York. Between countries, differences were commonly attributed to the particular combinations of strong public health infrastructure, successful state surveillance of private mobility data and social control in places with strong state institutional capacity such as China and Korea, reflecting national political contexts and institutional forms. Clearly, what was at stake was a moment when global forces landed locally, reconfiguring the DNA of

in African cities and collaborative futures
A conceptual framework for considering mapping projects as they change over time
Cate Turk

as foams 209 and changing circumstances, the temporal emergence of a crisis is echoed in the ways mappings emerge during crisis response. Maps are an essential medium for organising and sharing information in emergency contexts – think of the big wall maps common in emergency coordination centres. Crisis maps are online collaborations where volunteers create maps to help understand and respond to natural disasters and ­ political ­conflicts.  For example, following the huge storm Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda)  which hit the Philippines in November 2013

in Time for mapping
Open Access (free)
Louise Amoore

the globalisation process, removing the messiness of politics and leaving only the ‘right and necessary’ policy measures. As the millennium turned, the picture began to change so that we now begin to see partial glimpses of the push and shove of a social and political contestation that was, in truth, always present. Now we see the news media popularising debates about the power of multinational corporations (MNCs), the plight of the global economy’s ‘new slaves’ and the ‘anti-globalisation’ protests (Klein, 2000; Bales, 1999; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC

in Globalisation contested
Louise Amoore

amorphous, ‘vague in referent’ and ‘ambiguous in usage’ (Jones, Amoore_Global_02_Ch1 14 6/19/02, 12:06 PM Globalisation, restructuring and flexibility 15 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

in Globalisation contested