Living in an Age of Precarity

The introduction to a special issue on Precarity in Asia has now been published.

Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario

Living in an Age of Precarity in 21st Century Asia” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2019.1581832) is by Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario of the  Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore and Jonathan Rigg of the School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.

The abstract states:

Jonathan Rigg

The term “precarity” pays attention to the various ways in which policies and processes that promote economic growth can also, at the same time, induce a state of precarity or precarious living. In this introductory article, we interrogate one of the paradoxes of Asian development: greater precarity set against the backdrop of an economic “miracle.” The focus is on how policies and processes that are part of neo-liberal orthodoxy create new forms of marginalisation or precarity and new classes of the marginalised or the precariat. These include: transnational migrants without basic protection; factory workers employed on casual contracts; elderly with no old age state support; minorities dispossessed by land grabbing or resettled to make way for mega-projects; and farmers facing declining terms of trade, shrinking landholdings, and growing debts as they invest in new farm technologies. These disparate experiences provide a telling antidote to the growth-at-all-costs philosophy that favours economic expansion over matters of distribution, material prosperity over human flourishing, and corporate profitability over workers’ basic incomes.

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