Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific

Production Politics and Migrant Labour Regimes

Guest Workers in Asia and the Gulf

Authors: Bal, Charanpal Singh

  • Carves a new path in the debate on migrant labour regimes by emphasizing the impact of production politics
  • Presents revealing data from a case study of Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore
  • Elucidates the recent rise of in migrant labour unrest in developed and developing countries in Asia and the Gulf
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-54859-7
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Hardcover $129.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-54858-0
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About this book

This book emphasizes the importance of production politics, or struggles in the workplace between workers and their employers, for understanding migrant labour regimes in Asia and the Gulf. Drawing from a study of Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore, as well as on comparative material in the region, Bal shows that migrant labour politics are significantly influenced by the specific form of production politics as well as their variable outcomes. In contrast to contentious politics approaches, this book sheds light on the extent to which migrant labour regimes can be contested by workers and civil society groups and explains the recent rise in migrant labour unrest in the region.

About the authors

Charan Bal is Deputy Head (Global Class) at the Department of International Relations, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta. He researches migrant labour politics and Southeast Asian political economy and has been published in the Journal of Contemporary Asia and the Asian Journal of Law and Society. He is a joint-winner of the Asian Studies Association of Australia PhD prize 2014.

Reviews

“This insightful study of migrant labor regimes in Singapore’s construction industry goes far in explaining the relationship between the micro-politics of the workplace, and the political contestation of national labor regimes, demonstrating that even workers seemingly lacking in political leverage are nonetheless able to influence employers and governments in addressing their needs.  The book offers an exemplary model for linking ethnography and political economy in understanding the world of subordinated work.” (Frederic C. Deyo, Professor of Sociology, SUNY Binghamton, USA)

“This book offers a new and insightful approach to understanding the politics of migrant labour regimes everywhere. It shows how dynamic links between particular ways of conducting and organising work and the wider political economy are pivotal to the limits and potentials of migrant workers’ struggles. This is a major intervention in the migrant labour literature.” (Garry Rodan, Director of the Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Australia)

“This book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of production politics and political participation, as well as the relationships between the institutions of capitalism and individuals’ agency.  Bal’s cogent multi-level theoretical argument, supported by high quality empirical data, shows how the politics of production in the construction industry in Singapore affect migrant workers’ strategies.  This book will be of interest to those studying labor migrants, labor process theory, production politics, social movements and class.” (Arne L. Kalleberg, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Production Politics and Migrant Labour Regimes

    Bal, Charanpal Singh

    Pages 1-18

  • The Political Economy of Singapore’s Migrant Labour Regime: State Policies and Contractor Strategies

    Bal, Charanpal Singh

    Pages 19-48

  • Temporary Bangladeshi Labour Emigrants to Singapore

    Bal, Charanpal Singh

    Pages 49-77

  • Constituting Tactical Obedience in the Workplace

    Bal, Charanpal Singh

    Pages 79-110

  • Labour Conflict and the Restoration of Obedience at EW Construction

    Bal, Charanpal Singh

    Pages 111-139

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54859-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54858-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Production Politics and Migrant Labour Regimes
Book Subtitle
Guest Workers in Asia and the Gulf
Authors
Series Title
Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-54859-7
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-54859-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-54858-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 250
Number of Illustrations and Tables
3 b/w illustrations
Topics