AAC : The Politics of Distribution: Migrant Labour, Development and Religious Aid in Asia

Date:16 Nov 2017 – 17 Nov 2017
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore @ KRC

Migrant labour has been viewed as an important factor in growth, productivity and poverty reduction in Asia where rapid economic development has raised many to middle income countries. However, parallel to the growth of these economies has arisen new challenges and tensions as well as continuing underdevelopment (Rigg 2015). This includes what some scholars have identified as the formation of a labour surplus population in many parts of the world, where a decline in small agriculture and new industries generating less employment has resulted in a labour over supply that has made many “redundant” in the global production system (Ferguson 2015, Li 2010). Instead, distributive practices and “relations of dependence” (Ferguson 2015) have increased in the context of not only diminishing employment opportunities but also in uncertain and precarious employment, as is in the case of migrant labour which has often been linked to abuses over working conditions and wages.

In this sense, religious aid is one significant and diverse form of distributive practice. This is particularly the case where the rise in global civil society and non-state actors make up for many of the “structural holes” (Faist 2009) in social services neglected by the State. Lire la suite