It is widely acknowledged that the closing decades of the twentieth century, and the early decades of the twenty-first century, have been marked by growing economic insecurity across the globe. But how we understand this process is highly contested. What are the sources of economic insecurity?
To what extent do contemporary forms of economic and political organisation mark a break from the past? What analytical tools do we need to make sense of the current moment? Are new concepts needed, or will well-established concepts suffice? What are the implications of growing economic insecurity for questions of agency, solidarity, class struggle and social change? How does economic insecurity relate to various forms of collective organisation such as trade unions, political parties and community-based organisations?
Guy Standing has been one of the most prolific and visible contributors to these debates.
Standing was an economist and director of various projects at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) from 1975 to 2006. He is perhaps best-known for his analysis of the “precariat”, which he develops over the course of three books: Work After
Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship (2009), The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), and A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (2014).
This special issue of the Global Labour Journal discusses Standing’s concept and where we are headed