In this book, Andrew Herod offers an original and wide-ranging analysis of labor as a multi-faceted and truly global resource. Opening with a rich overview of the migration streams and demographic trends that have shaped the planetary distribution of labor, he goes on to explore how globalization and the growth of precarious work are impacting working people's lives. He concludes by surveying some of the ways in which working people are taking action to improve their lives, including forming trade unions and other labor organizations, occupying factories in places like Argentina and Greece, and establishing anti-sweatshop campaigns.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the state of labor in today's global economy.

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  • October 2017
  • 248 pages
  • 148 x 210 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9780745663869
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9780745663876
  • Open eBook $19.95
  • 9781509524129
Table of Contents



Chapter 1 – A Resource Unlike Any Other

Labor as Object

Labor as Subject


Chapter 2 – Labor in Global Context

Moving On

Rural to urban migration

Intra-continental migration

Inter-continental migration

Growing in Place


Chapter 3 – Globalization and Labor

FDI’s Implications for Labor

GPNs and Labor as Object and Subject

Waste, Global Destruction Networks, and Labor


Chapter 4 – Neoliberalism and Working Precariously

Neoliberalism and Precarious Work

Forms of Precarity and Their Present Dynamics


Chapter 5 – From Drudge Work to Emancipated Workers?

Laboring in the Old Economy

On the Swing to the Cancer in the Bush – Iron Ore Mining in Western Australia

Sweet Work? – Cocoa Plantation Workers in West Africa

Fishy Business – Forced Labor in the Seafood Industry


Chapter 6 – Meet the New Economy – Same as the Old Economy?

Laboring in the New Economy

Chips off the Old (Economy) Block?

Call Centers – Dark Satanic Mills of the New Economy?

Ghost Workers of the New Economy


Chapter 7 – Workers Fight Back

Workers Coming Together

Organizing in the Age of Precarity


Chapter 8 – Concluding Thoughts


About the Author

Andy Herod is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia

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“Superbly explicated and assisted by well-chosen case studies, Andrew Herod’s analysis of the uniqueness of labor as a resource is both captivating and convincing. Wonderful work!”
Jon Agnone, University of Washington

“In this bold and pithy text Herod reminds us that labor is a vital resource with a mind of its own. This book is an excellent introduction to the fast-changing world of work and why it matters so much.”
Jane Wills, Queen Mary, University of London

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