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P13b


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The precarious New Deal: inclusive development and precarious workers II 
Convenor:
Kate Meagher (LSE)
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Stream:
Global inequalities
Format:
Papers Mixed
Sessions:
Thursday 1 July, 10:00-11:45 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

Labour contracting, digital connections, and BoP linkages have woven informal and gig workers into the heart of the formal economy, requiring a New Deal for precarious workers. Do inclusive linkages, cash transfers, and civil society engagement serve to normalize or transform precarity after COVID?

Long Abstract

Jobless growth and inclusive labour linkages have woven informal and gig workers into the heart of the formal economy. Far from fading away, informality now accounts for 61% of global employment. COVID-19 exposed the vital role and vulnerability of the large precarious workforce in economies across the Global North and South, prompting growing calls for a New Deal for precarious workers. While some emphasize the employment-generating opportunities of incorporating the poor and unemployed into digital platforms and global value chains, others question whether labour contracting, digital and BoP linkages expand or undermine decent work.

This panel invites papers that explore whether and how inclusive linkages and social protection initiatives tend to normalize or transform precarious work. Empirical and fieldwork-based papers on the influence of COVID on particular cases of economic inclusion for precarious workers are especially welcome. Focusing on digital, labour contracting, global value chain, or corporate Bottom of the Pyramid linkages with informal and precarious workers, this panel raises questions about their effects on decent work, inequality and the social contract. Do COVID-inspired pressures for better social protection of precarious workers address ongoing losses of income and labour rights? The panel examines whether New Deal narratives for precarious workers address or merely stabilize poverty and informal working conditions. What demands for protection are emerging from precarious workers themselves, through collective organization, alliances with labour unions, or innovative legal cases? This panel examines how inclusive linkages and a post-COVID social contract can offer a better deal for precarious workers.

Accepted papers: