Colonial Labour Market Governance Redux? Making Productive Workers, Then and Now
Room 920, Level 9
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
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Through a comparison of contemporary representations of informal work and its ills with the ideologies and regulatory mechanisms used by British colonial administrators to (try to) make workers more productive, this lecture pursues the intuition that labour market governance is indebted to its colonial predecessors in as-yet-unexplored ways. Treatises such as Lugard's Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa and Furnivall’s Colonial Policy and Practice reveal striking continuities in both the methods and outcomes of interventions, enduring questions around freedom and coercion and the distribution of benefits from reforms and pervasive efforts to justify economic reforms in the name of social progress.