Masters Modules.

Business, Labour and Migration.

This course will investigate the global political economy of labour, migration, and transnational corporations in the 21st century. We will trace the changes in the organization and governance of global production networks that have facilitated the emergence and resilience of labour exploitation (including forced labour, human trafficking, and slavery), and examine the politics and effectiveness of government, activist, and corporate initiatives to combat it. We will also consider the business demand for labour exploitation, why it is more prominent in some industries and supply chains than others, and the individual and systemic factors that shape vulnerability to it in developed and developing countries and in the global economy. Finally, we will discuss these dynamics in relation to the politics of international migration and the impact on the drivers of migration governance.

Over the semester, we will analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches to understanding the political economy of labour, corporations and migration today, and various research methods used to study these.


This module is typically taught through a varied programme of seminars, lectures and participatory workshops over the semester


The module is typically assessed through two pieces of individual coursework.

As part of this module we host some guest speakers and a participatory workshop. The aim of this participatory seminar is to ground understandings of forced labour and migration dynamics and governance. During the seminar you will work together with practitioners exploring and discussing possible ‘solutions’ to the business of immigration control and the exploitation of migrant workers by business.

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