Labour and the Political Economy of Peripheralisation: The Case of Ukraine and the European Union


Dr Gregory SchwartzDr. Gregory Schwartz
School of Economics, Finance and Management
Faculty of Social Sciences & Law
University of Bristol

Thursday, August 18
7:00pm – 8:30pm

Centre for Social Innovation
3rd Floor, Room #4
720 Bathurst St, Toronto

Ukraine’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) that forms part of the Association Agreement with the European Union, is designed to harmonise laws, norms and regulations in trade. At the same time, together with recent changes in the labour law, the DCFTA promises significantly to transform labour and employment in Ukraine and set in motion changes that will affect labour in the European Union itself. Using data from a study of the labour market in the
Ukrainian city of Lviv, this presentation will examine current developments in the ‘Europeanisation’ of work and employment, assessing the manner in which the realities of informal, insecure, flexible and low pay work in Lviv fit into the wider matrix of European labour restructuring. The presentation will also consider how the notion of peripheries plays a key role in understanding the development of global capitalism (viz. theories of ‘combined and uneven
development’ and ‘variegated neoliberalisation’), and will argue that the specific nature of constructing internal peripheralization by means of spatially segmenting labour markets (as represented by Ukraine and other CEE countries) suggests a degree of maturation of EU capitalism that necessitates a closer theoretical inquiry.

Gregory Schwartz is Assistant Professor in the School of Economics, Finance and Management at the Faculty of Social Sciences & Law, University of Bristol. His research lies in two key areas: 1) the political economy of the transformation of labour, management and organisation in Central and Eastern Europe; and 2) comparative study of the processes of ‘precarisation’ of labour in Europe. Dr Schwartz’s research is cross-disciplinary and methodologically heterodox, touching on problems in the sociology of work, political economy, cultural anthropology and economic geography.

Audio | Dr. Gregory Schwartz


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