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Work and Development in the Global South

The research focuses on the Global South, in particular Emerging Economies, and examines the development trajectories of new industrial regions, changing patterns of work and employment and the role of the informal economy.It challenges theoretical insights developed in the North for their inability to adequately analyse the realities of the South. Instead it qualifies and ‘theorises back’ by drawing upon long-term research.The research is interdisciplinary and draws on economic geography, sociology of work, and development. It contributes to key international academic and policy debates on regional development, industrial and social upgrading and the nature of capitalism.

Regional Development: This strand engages with how regions are theorized and   development is understood. Both development and capitalism are increasingly analysed at a sub-national / regional level in Comparative Capitalism as well as Global Production Networks literature. It challenges the projection of regions in the Global South as either regions of innovation or exploitation, and of development in pure economic terms. Instead it demonstrates how different actors (firms, state and labour) actively construct social relations in a particular place that influences their resources and options and determine development paths and prospects of a region.

Changing patterns of work and employment: Existing forms of work and employment are altering to accommodate imperatives of foreign capital especially through multinational firms and in new industrial regions. These range from changes at the formal workplace, a weakening of unionism to informalisation of formal work in households and communities. The latter has implication for conceptualizing labour as well as strategies for mobilization and unionism.

Informal economy and capitalism in a comparative perspective: As work continues to reach beyond the formal workplace and into the informal economy - into the community, household and the realm of social reproduction –it raises questions about the understanding of capitalism as based purely on the formal economy and formal institutions/actors. Informal work is predominant in the Global South and is increasingly prevalent in the Global North. The interlinkages between the formal-informal economy/work, the challenge of regulating the informal economy/work and the challenge of organising disparate, dispersed and often mobile informal workplaces and workers require a rethink of established concepts and methodologies.

I would welcome PhD proposals in above mentioned aspects from the Global South and Southern Europe.Some background in disciplines of political economy, development, sociology or economic geography with an interest in labour would be useful.


Hammer A. 2015.'Book review: Jamie Cross, Dream Zones: Anticipating Capitalism and Development in India Work, Employment & Society, first published online on October 14, 2015

Hammer, A. 2014. ‘Employment relations in emerging economies: China and India’, in Beardwell, J and Thompson, A eds. Human Resource Management: A contemporary approach, Pearson, 7th edition

Hammer, A. 2012. ‘Institutional Analysis and Collective Mobilisation in a Comparative Assessment of Two Cooperatives in India’, in Atzeni, M (ed.) Alternative Work Organisations, Palgrave (Critical perspectives on work and employment series).

Hammer, A. 2010. ‘Trade Unions in a Constrained Environment: Workers’ Voices from a Special Economic Zone in India’, Industrial Relations Journal, 41:2

Hammer, A. ‘Labour agency within global capitalism: production and reproduction in workers’ struggles in India’, presented at the Workshop on Labour and Development, De Montfort University, June 2016

Hammer A. and Hammer, N. The Informal Economy in Emerging Economies’ Labour Market Dynamics: a comparison of India and Russia, presented at SASE Conference, Chicago 2014

Hammer, A. and Mamkoottam, K. Skills, Firms and the State in India: securing development or perpetuating inequality? Presented at SASE Conference, London 2015

Hammer, A. Plus ça change…New skills policy, patterns of skill formation and firms’ strategies in India,presented at CRIMT Conference, Montreal 2015

Hammer A. Challenges of applying comparative capitalism analysis to India: some reflections and evidence, presented atSASE Conference, Milan 2013

Hammer, N, A Hammer, G Williams Informality and Transnational Labour Agency, Paper presented at the Symposium ‘Emerging Economies, MNCs, and Transnational Unionism’, presented at ILERA-Europe, Amsterdam, 2013


Contact: Dr. Anita Hammer,

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