This module introduces students to key concepts and debates about the role of work and labour in processes of global sustainable development. SDG 8 on ‘Full productive employment and Decent Work’ serves as a jumping off point to explore a number of issues and debates about the changing nature of work in the global economy and the possibilities for sustainable, dignified livelihoods. Students will engage these topics through class discussions focused on concrete case studies. Cases will be selected and presented by students themselves in most weeks.
Principal Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module, students will be able to:
- Understand key concepts in the study of work (i.e. employment and unemployment, free and unfree labour, informal work, global production networks).
- Critically assess major debates about the changing nature of work in the global economy.
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of cross-disciplinary perspectives on the relationships between labour and global sustainable development.
- Undertake independent research and writing.
Week 1 - Introduction: Work, Labour, and Global Sustainable Development
Part 1: ‘Full and Productive Employment’
Week 2 - Labour Markets and (un)Employment
Week 3 - Skills and Productivity
Part 2: Thinking Globally About Work
Week 4 - Global Production Networks
Week 5 - Labour Migration
Part 3: Making Work ‘Decent’
Week 6 - Global Labour Governance
Week 7 - Unfree Labour and Modern Slavery
Week 8 - The Informal Economy and the Dilemmas of Formalization
Part 4: The Future of Work
Week 9 - Green Jobs and ‘Just Transitions’
Week 10 - Automation: Towards Jobless Growth?
Seminar Participation (10%)
Case Study Presentation (Group) (25%)
Research Paper Proposal (15%)
Research Paper (50%)