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STEPS Seminar: Ted Schrecker on Labour arbitrage, financial fallout, expulsions
25th April 2014 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Labour arbitrage, financial fallout, expulsions: Exploring the mechanics of the inequality machine
Ted Schrecker, Professor of Global Health Policy, Durham University
“The inequality machine is reshaping the planet”, in the words of the editor of Le Monde Diplomatique. In this presentation Ted addresses three aspects of that machine’s operation. Labour arbitrage is perhaps the most familiar, and now penetrates the labour markets even of the ‘core’ high income nations, underscoring the need to shift from what William Robinson calls “territorial” to “social” cartographies in the study of development. Post-2008, the significance of financial fallout is superficially self-explanatory, but it is important to go beyond short-term analysis of the recent crisis and its aftermath to consider the consequences for inequality of the underlying shift in power toward the owners of finance capital. The category of expulsions, drawn from the work of Saskia Sassen, refers to the removal of people who are “in the way” of more profitable uses of land or resources; Ted examines gentrification and the large-scale purchase and lease of agricultural land by foreign actors as case studies. Together, these interconnected processes cause us to rethink our conceptions of the global, present formidable challenges for development and the reduction of health inequities, and demand new strategies for both research and resistance.
Ted’s academic background is in political science, and he has taught that discipline as well as environmental studies and population health (at the doctoral level) at three Canadian universities. For the past decade his research has addressed the consequences of transnational economic integration (globalisation) for health and health equity, currently from a broadly Marxist (but empirical) perspective. He also has a long-standing interest in issues at the interface of science, ethics, law and public policy.