Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Editorial | Open Access

The Global Disappearance of Decent Work? Precarity, Exploitation, and Work‐Based Harms in the Neoliberal Era

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Abstract:  This thematic issue offers an international perspective on precarious work and the social harms generated by such work. In the following introduction, we contextualise these trends in relation to entrenched neoliberal policy, rising contractual insecurity, the proliferation of borders, and other forms of institutional discrimination and inequality. We distinguish between formal contractual insecurity and the subjective experiences of precarity, interrogate the types of harms that accompany precarious work, and set out a social justice perspective for an engaged critique of precarious work. The collection is truly global in its scope, encompassing case studies from Bangladesh, China, Czechia, Ecuador, Finland, Italy, India, Jordan, Latvia, and Spain. These case studies draw out the diverse contexts for rising precarity, ranging from post‐soviet, post‐socialist, and neoliberal transitions to post‐colonial and neocolonial contexts, examining how precarity is shaped by and interacts with divisions of ethnicity, migration status, gender, sexuality, and class. This thematic issue arises out of the work of the (In)Justice International Collective and is dedicated to the organization’s founder, Dr. Simon Prideaux, who passed away in 2023.

Keywords:  contractual insecurity; globalisation; multiplication of labour; neoliberalism; precarious work; precarity; social harms



© Adam Formby, Mustapha Sheikh, Bob Jeffery. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.