Twenty-first-century capitalist development: upon the backs of, and against, global labour

Selwyn, Benjamin (2019) Twenty-first-century capitalist development: upon the backs of, and against, global labour. In: Shyam Sundar, K R (ed.) Perspectives on neoliberalism, labour and globalization in India: essays in honor of Lalit K Despande. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore, pp. 37-59. ISBN 9789811369728

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) generate a picture of a world which, despite continuing challenges, is experiencing the benefits of capitalist development. SDG goal no. 1—the ending of poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030—is widely proclaimed to be realizable. Global Capitalism is, indeed, an incredibly powerful wealth-generating system, which feeds such optimism. However, capitalism’s exploitative social relations mean that its dynamism will only benefit a minority, while its costs will be borne by the majority. This chapter provides a critical commentary on popular thinking about global development by outlining (a) the unsoundness of the World Bank’s poverty measurement methodology; (b) the processes that have generated a highly exploited and largely poor global labouring class; and (c) the anti-labour sentiments at the core of mainstream theories of development. It concludes by arguing that genuinely progressive development thinking and practice—within and potentially beyond capitalism—should root itself in notions of labouring class solidarity, collective action and struggles against exploitation.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
School of Global Studies > International Relations
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Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 14:57
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 14:57
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