The Economic and Labour Relations Review : ELRR

Articles from Vol. 20, No. 2, July

Adam Smith and the Labour Contract: Is Labour Exchange Analogous to Commodity Exchange?
Introduction One of the key political and economic developments of the last few decades has been the renewed political strength of a certain kind of economic liberalism, globally. In the Anglophone world, these developments had their genesis in...
From Blackbirds to Guestworkers in the South Pacific. Plus Ca Change ...?
Introduction Blackbirding was the colloquial term for the early labour trade in the South Pacific, initiated as illegal and uncontrolled recruitment, long after such practices had ended in Europe, the Americas and Africa. It accompanied the establishment...
From Terranova to Terra Firma: A Critique of the Role of Free Labour and the Digital Economy
Introduction In the 1770s, Adam Smith stated that: manufacturing 'produces a value, (that) may be called productive (while services were) ... unproductive labour. Thus the labourer of a manufacturer adds ... to the value of the materials which...
Globalisation and the Commodification of Labour: Temporary Labour Migration
Introduction There has been growing interest over the last decade in the import of international migration as an economic force that could provide renewed growth potential for the developing economies of the world. A migration-development discourse...
Managing Diverse Commodities? from Factory Fodder to Business Asset
Introduction The debate about whether labour is a commodity can be traced back to the writings of Adam Smith (1776). It has been an enduring one. Those who subscribe to a neoclassical perspective on economics argue in the affirmative (Dicken 2004:...
Metamorphoses: The Concept of Labour in the History of Political Economy
Introduction In his autobiography, J. R. Commons (1934: 131) writes that 'from John Locke to Adam Smith, to Ricardo, Proudhon and Karl Marx, it is possible to build a whole system of political economy on the one foundation of labor.' It was only...
Psychologising the Subject: HRM, Commodification, and the Objectification of Labour
Introduction: The Argument in Overview As a starting point, we wish to offer some a priori answers to what we believe are five questions that are of central interest to the theme of this special issue of Economic and Labour Relations Review: ...
The Duality of Labour and the Financial Crisis
Introduction Where do profits come from, and what is the social rationale for owners accruing profits? It is such a basic question that it rarely receives analytical attention. Basic questions are often the hardest for which to give coherent and...
The Trouble with Labour
Every commodity has its peculiarities. However, to the extent that labour is a commodity, its characteristics are arguably, in a league of their own. At the Constitutional Convention of 1878 Benjamin Franklin pinned down the essence of these peculiarities,...
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