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The impact of migrant workers on the functioning of labour markets and industrial relations

  • Start date: 02 November 2009
  • End date: 01 November 2011

The first aim of the seminar series is to provide detailed analysis of empirical research into migrant workers. Through a combination of invited and refereed papers from established and career young researchers as well as leading practitioners, current developments affecting migrant workers are analysed by theme (eg health and safety, legal enforcement, learning and skills, trade union organising) and by sectors (construction, hospitality, agriculture, transport and logistics, health and financial services).

While the objective of presenting leading edge research to an academic and practitioner audience is highly relevant and timely, the strength of the series lies in seeking to address theoretical and methodological weaknesses apparent in the existing research literature. Theoretical discussion of the political economy of migration has been neglected and methodological problems associated with research into migrant workers are frequently ignored or 'glossed over' without sufficient consideration of the validity and reliability of the research undertaken.

The second aim of the series is, therefore, to consider theoretical and methodological research issues, notably by considering innovative, inter-disciplinary approaches to the study of migrant labour. This is addressed by examining specific topics at each of the seminars (eg research adopting quantitative, ethnographic, comparative and community based approaches), using a mixture of established academics and by encouraging career young researchers to outline how they have approached theory and methodology.

The seminar series will make an important contribution to the dissemination and development and research into migrant workers, of relevance to the academic and practitioners in the field.