The Workforce, Precariousness and Super-Exploitation in Global Capital Circuits

Jan Breman

May 30 - June 1, 2016

Sociologist Jan Breman, whose research focuses on labour conditions in different international contexts, will hold the upcoming session of the programme Constituent Machines: Constituent Power, Biopolitics, Democracyorganised by the Museo Reina Sofía Study Centre.

On this occasion, Breman will analyse the situation of male and female workers who sell their labour power on the lower rungs of the world economy. This workforce constitutes a key component of the production circuits of global capitalism and is vitally important to attaining differentiating accumulation strategies followed in different geographical spaces by diverse regional economic blocs. The low cost and lack of rights largely cheapen reproduction costs for the working classes, and curb inflation and allow acceptable levels of consumption for certain wage levels that have habitually come to a standstill in developed countries for more than twenty-five years.

The analysis of this workforce in the current global manufacturing system, primarily concentrated in Western and Southeast Asia, is essential to understanding the different labour regimes that have become established in the planet’s economic regions, and particularly in OECD countries and in the EU following the approval of the Lisbon Treaty, in March 2000, by the European Council, as well as the development and trends of poverty.


Actividad pasada May 30, 2016 - 7:00 p.m.
The Workforce and Poverty at the Bottom of the World Economy’s Production Structure
Lecture by Jan Breman

Jan Breman, a Dutch sociologist and Emeritus Professor at the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. He has worked for over half a century studying the prevailing working conditions in Southeast Asia (India, Java, China) and their development in the recent decades of growing globalisation; the current trends after the 2008 systematic crisis and their relationship to labour market models in developed countries. His prolific output includes: Of Peasants, Migrants and Workers, Rural labour Circulation and Capitalist Production in West India (1985); Wage Hunters and Gatherers (1994); Footloose Labour. Working in India's Informal Economy (1996); The Labouring Poor in India. Patterns of Exploitation and Exclusion (2003); The Making and Unmaking of an Industrial Working Class. Sliding Down the Labour Hierarchy in Ahmedabad, India (2004); At Work in the Informal Economy of India and The Long Road to Social Security: Assessing the Implementation of National Social Security Initiatives for the Working Poor in India (both from 2013); Mobilizing Labour for the Global Coffee Market (2015) and On Pauperism in Present and Past (2016).

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Actividad pasada May 31 and June 1, 2016 - 5:30 p.m.
What Workforce for What Type of Capitalism? The Neo-Liberal Biopolitics of Poverty and Pauperism in the Global North and South
Seminar by Jan Breman

Prior registration is required at
A certificate of attendance at the seminar will be available

Nouvel Building, Protocol Room