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Labor in the Global Economy (Current Global and Development Challenges and Solutions)

Labor in the Global Economy (Current Global and Development Challenges and Solutions)
Master programme in
Global Studies * / International Development Studies * / International Public Administration and Politics * / Politics and Administration * / Public Administration * / Global and Development Studies / International Politics and Governance / Public Administration
Type of activity


Teaching language
Study regulation

Read about the Master Programme and find the Study Regulations at ruc.dk


You register for activities through stads selvbetjening during the announced registration period, which you can see on the Study administration homepage.

Registration for project-exam: Please remember to confirm your registration by signing up for exam as a group when the group formation is final. The registration is through STADS Online Student Service

When registering for courses, please be aware of the potential conflicts and overlaps between course and exam time and dates. The planning of course activities at Roskilde University is based on the recommended study programmes, which should not overlap. However, if you choose optional courses and/or study plans that goes beyond the recommended study programmes, an overlap of lectures or exam dates may occur depending on which courses you choose.

Number of participants
Responsible for the activity
Laura Horn (lhorn@ruc.dk)
Head of study
Somdeep Sen (sens@ruc.dk)
Study administration
ISE Registration & Exams (ise-exams@ruc.dk)
Exam code(s)
Overall objective

A specialisation course aims to allow students to immerse themselves in the theories/theory lines and empirical issues pertaining to a particular subject area. The course equips students to competently select and argue for the applicability and relevance of a theory/theory line to given issues. The courses offered are based on the Institute's research in the field and knowledge of the highest international standard. The specific subject area of the courses will be described in the activity description.

Current Global and Development Challenges and Solutions addresses various global and development challenges, such as conflicts, questions of justice, inequality, sustainability, and effects for instance on states, markets and civil society.

Detailed description of content

Overall objective

The changing nature of global capitalism has had dramatic consequences for labour in terms of the nature and organisation of work and workers locally and globally. In this course, we employ a range of theoretical perspectives to explore the interactions between labour and the changing nature of global capitalism with particular attention to the global South. We examine the changing role of labour in the international political economy focusing on transnational production, trade and finance as well as the deregulation and reregulation of labour. We also examine ways that labour has, both locally and globally, been changed by these processes and importantly, how labour is responding to these changes. A focus on social reproduction and the climate and ecological emergency are a central part of these discussions.

Tentative outline of sessions (the final outline will be made available on the course moodle before the course starts; students are welcome to contact Laura with suggestions)

  1. 9/2 Introduction + global labour in DK (LH, MHA)

  2. 16/2 Theory and concepts 1 (LH)

  3. 23/2 Theory and concepts 2 (MHA)

  4. 1/3 Worker movements and strikes (LH)

  5. 8/3 International labour regulation and institutions (LH)

  6. 15/3 Global value chains, social upgrading and labour agency (MHA)

  7. 22/3 Labour in the green transition – the case of the meat industry (MHA)

  8. 12/4 Democratic alternatives - cooperatives and worker control (MHA)

  9. 19/4 Workers don’t grow on trees – reproductive labour in the global economy (LH)

  10. 26/4 Excursion, Copenhagen (MHA)

  11. 3/5 double session - Workshop – Global labour in Denmark (LH) + Conclusion (LH, MHA)

Overall learning outcomes

• Specialised knowledge of the changing role of labour in the global political economy.

• Advanced knowledge of academic and methodological debates relating to the topic.

• Skills in selecting relevant theories to examine a selected area within the overall theme of labour in the global economy.

• Skills in communicating and discussing theories and empirical results in connection with the seminar.

• Competencies to take responsibility for and reflect on one’s own learning and that of colleagues by actively participating in discussions.

• Competencies to critically, independently and creatively identify and formulate a short written assignment on the theme of labour in the global economy.

Course material and Reading list

The course will draw on the recent Handbook of Research on the Global Political Economy of Work (edited by Atzeni et al, Edward Elgar 2023) https://www.elgaronline.com/edcollbook/book/9781839106583/9781839106583.xml. The book is a great resource covering a wide range of relevant issues. For each session, additional articles and/or book chapters will be assigned and/or recommended.

Moreover, we will make active use of moodle to share other resources within the course, such as newspaper articles, documentaries/films and civil society publications.

Overall plan and expected work effort

10ECTS = 270hrs. Course sessions: 12x2= 24hrs // Reading and preparation: 140hrs // excursion: 6hrs // portfolio exam: 100hrs

Evaluation and feedback

The course will be evaluated with an oral mid-term evaluation, as well as an end of term evaluation. Individual feedback for the portfolio exam will be provided either online in Digital Eksamen, or in an in-person office hour.

Overall learning outcomes

  • Be able to explain and evaluate, using relevant terminology, the advantages and disadvantages of various theories/theory lines within the aspect of a subject area that is dealt with in the specialisation course

  • Be able to confidently and independently evaluate, select and apply relevant theories in relation to an issue

  • Be able to reflect critically on the relevance of the topic to the subject matter of the course

  • Carry out analyses on a scientific basis and deal in a creative and solution-oriented manner with central issues within the course theme

  • Communicate knowledge in language that is technically precise, well-structured and well-argued.

Form of examination
Individual portfolio exam.

The character limit of the portfolio is maximum 36,000 characters, including spaces. Examples of written products are exercise responses, talking points for presentations, written feedback, reflections, written assignments. The preparation of the products may be subject to time limits.
The character limits include the cover, table of contents, bibliography, figures and other illustrations, but exclude any appendices.

The portfolio is written completely or partially during the course.

The entire portfolio must be handed in at the same time (uploaded to eksamen.ruc.dk). Handing in the portfolio or parts of the portfolio to the supervisor for feedback, cannot replace the upload to eksamen.ruc.dk.

Assessment: 7-point grading scale.
Form of Re-examination
Samme som ordinær eksamen / same form as ordinary exam
Type of examination in special cases
Examination and assessment criteria
Exam code(s)
Exam code(s) : U60664
Last changed 22/11/2023

lecture list:

Show lessons for Subclass: 1 Find calendar (1) PDF for print (1)

Friday 09-02-2024 12:15 - 09-02-2024 14:00 in week 06
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 16-02-2024 12:15 - 16-02-2024 14:00 in week 07
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 23-02-2024 12:15 - 23-02-2024 14:00 in week 08
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 01-03-2024 12:15 - 01-03-2024 14:00 in week 09
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 08-03-2024 12:15 - 08-03-2024 14:00 in week 10
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 15-03-2024 12:15 - 15-03-2024 14:00 in week 11
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 22-03-2024 12:15 - 22-03-2024 14:00 in week 12
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 12-04-2024 12:15 - 12-04-2024 14:00 in week 15
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 19-04-2024 12:15 - 19-04-2024 14:00 in week 16
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 26-04-2024 12:15 - 26-04-2024 14:00 in week 17
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 03-05-2024 10:15 - 03-05-2024 12:00 in week 18
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 03-05-2024 12:15 - 03-05-2024 14:00 in week 18
Labor in the Global Economy (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Wednesday 08-05-2024 10:00 - 08-05-2024 10:00 in week 19
Labor in the Global Economy - Exam (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)

Friday 16-08-2024 10:00 - 16-08-2024 10:00 in week 33
Labor in the Global Economy - Reexam (GDS, IPG, PF, SV)