Globalization Jeopardizes Basic Social Institutions: Labor and the State

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal IOeG (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Tatiana SIDORINA, Higher School of Economics National Research University (Russia, Moscow), Russia
The report focuses on the issue of the changing role and status of work under neoliberal postindustrial economy and society. Not so long ago the most topical question on the agenda was the issue of workatsentrism, overwork culture. The crisis of labour in its classical sense was perceived as a consequence of the informational development, transition to new employment practices.

Today, researchers are raising the alarm, linking the crisis of labour to the most negative consequences for social development. Sharp criticism of the diagnosis of the "end of work in its classical sense" is replaced by open hostility to labor in terms of the post-industrial economy and neo-liberalism. Researchers see the causes of the crisis of labor in the global neoliberal economic policy regime.

Basic social institutions have become a major problem for post-industrial neo-liberal economy, and at the same time, the pain spot of globalization. To identify new areas of profitable production, global capitalism needs less labour, which justifies the need for the dismantling of the welfare state.

The trends are clear, but the questions remain: who will do heavy work in the countries that have chosen the path of post-industrial development? What will happen to mankind in the working environment where workers' parties and trade unions are losing their role in the political sphere? At the same time, there is a growing number of those who are thrown out of the labor market and deprived of chances for material and social security.

What should be done? Shall we reject labour and float freely on the waves of globalization? Or shall we overcome the alienation and return to the understanding of high significance of labour in human life and society?