This panel reflects on the bureaucratized and individualized forms that precarisation of labor takes in European welfarist states
Increasing exploitation of labour in northern welfare economies has resulted in deepening of bureaucratic 'flexicurity' regimes and thereby obscured casualization processes. Further, the neoliberal revolution in post-Fordist economies has displaced earlier oppositions between capital and labour with the shifting of labour discipline onto individuals. Today, we are not so much facing the brutal weight of corporate power but the insecure spaces present in under- or overemployment and by intensified competition that is horizontal and lateral, internal and external. Taking recent debates on precarisation in the affluent parts of Europe as its starting point (Standing 2005), this panel seeks to develop a comparative rather than a generalized perspective on diverse forms of precarisation. Unlike the narrower labour market perspective presented by Guy Standing, we wish to expand the problematic of precarisation to (1) new forms of externalization by which entire population groups become excluded from the standard labour market contract model of citizenship; (2) restructurings of labour discipline along less evident material and affective registers. We invite contributions that analyse the changed conjunctures of life in the shadows of transformed national economies where the contribution of labour to the pool of national wealth has been gradually diminishing. How can the nature of productive social labour be rethought in a context where our very desires for work are bound up with the reproduction of capital (Lordon 2014) and through which labour is being punished and marginalized? How can anthropological knowledge probe the specific and systematic character of life under late liberalism?