LER 475H: Labor in the Global Economy
This course focuses on how the nature of work is changing in the global economy, and the implications for economic opportunity and inequality in both. LER 475H Labor in the Global Economy (3) This seminar focuses on how the nature of work is changing in the "new economy" and the implications for economic opportunity and inequality. Sections of the course examine theoretical approaches to understanding contemporary process of labor restructuring, including globalization, rise of multinational corporations, and growth in global supply chains; case studies of restructuring processes; and innovative labor organizing initiatives at a local, regional and global scale. This course aims to develop a framework for understanding the nature of contemporary processes of economic restructuring and its impact on the world of work. Case studies will provide a deeper understanding of how broad macro-level changes in the nature of contemporary capitalism are mediated by a variety of technological, political, and socio-economic factors in particular industries and geographic contexts. The case studies section of the course will also examine business ethics and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Finally, an in-depth look at workers' responses to these changes at different scales (local, regional, global) will help deepen our understanding of the contested nature of workplace restructuring while exploring promising strategies for improving working conditions. This is a reading-intensive course dealing with the theoretical literature on rapid economic restructuring and how this is shaping work and employment.