Informality, global production networks and the dynamics of 'adverse incorporation'

Nicola Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The neglect of questions of informality in the study of global production networks (GPNs) is curious given the scale and reach of informality in the contemporary global economy. In this article I advocate a tighter integration of informality into the questions and approaches we deploy in the study of GPNs, not simply as an empirical area of enquiry but also in theorizing, first, how GPNs work and, second, with what social consequences. Drawing on 'structuralist' insights into the relationship between informality and formality in capitalist economies, I argue for a recognition of the ways in which these are structurally blended with one another to the extent that their dichotomization is empirically and theoretically misconceived. I go on to explore the ways in which informality is created and exploited within GPNs in a 'top-down' manner - that is, by capital, firms, employers and states - and the 'bottom-up' dynamics of informality, which frequently are constitutive of 'adverse incorporation' in GPNs for large numbers of workers, generating and perpetuating forms of poverty, marginalization and vulnerability. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd & Global Networks Partnership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-397
Number of pages17
JournalGlobal Networks
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • ADVERSE INCORPORATION
  • GLOBAL PRODUCTION NETWORKS
  • INFORMALITY
  • INFORMALIZATION
  • POVERTY
  • WORK

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Informality, global production networks and the dynamics of 'adverse incorporation''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this