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ESRC Seminar Series ‘Beyond Labour Regulation’
Constructing Research Agendas

Monday January 16th 2012, The Boardroom, College Building, Middlesex University, Hendon, London NW4 4BT, 10am to 5 pm

This ESRC Seminar Series hosted by Middlesex University has brought together academics and practitioners to examine changing global regulation of labour standards. The seminars were organised by a team at Middlesex University including Professor Martin Upchurch, Professor Richard Croucher, Elizabeth Cotton and Professor Joshua Castellino. Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio Manchester University) and Dr. Conor Cradden (University of  Geneva) helped with organisation at the Liverpool and Geneva seminars respectively. Our first seminar took place at Middlesex University, London in January 2010 and examined the problems of Contract and Agency labour.

Participants included academics, practitioners from General Union Federations, and activists within global supply chains. The second seminar, on Migration and Labour Regulation, was held in the Liverpool in the International Slavery Museum in September 2010. Speakers included representatives of major institutions concerned with migration and migrant workers, migrant worker groups, and academics. Case studies were presented of problems facing migrant workers from across the world. The third seminar was on the problems of labour regulation caused by Private Equity, and was held in June 2011 at the Universityof Geneva. Our final seminar will be held at Middlesex University, London on January 16th 2012, and will attempt to bring together previous seminar participants and others interested in collaborating with new research to explore further areas of ‘beyond labour regulation’.

Research Agendas Seminar: Monday January 16th, 2012
‘What We Should be Researching and Why’

Panel Discussion led by

Miguel Martinez Lucio (Professor of International HRM at Manchester University), and co-editor with Luis Enrique Alonso of Employment Relations in a Changing Society, Palgrave, 2006.

Kevin Doogan (Professor of European Policy Studies at the University of Bristol), and author of New Capitalism, The Transformation of Work?, Wiley, 2009

Julie Froud (Professor of Financial Innovation at Manchester University) and co-author of Financialization at Work, Routledge, 2008

Joshua Castellino (Professor of Law at Middlesex University) and co-author of Minority Rights in Asia, OUP, 2006

Sonia McKay (Professor of European Socio-Legal Studies at London Metroolitan University) and author of Refugees, recent migrants and employment: challenging barriers and exploring path ways, Routledge, 2008

Plus Practitioner Forum, with invited speakers from NGOs, trade unions, and policy organisations in the field of global labour regulation.
If you are interested in attending the seminar, please contact Professor Martin Upchurch ( or the Seminar Series administrator Denise Arden (

There is no registration fee, refreshments for the all day seminar will be provided, but please book places in advance:

Martin Upchurch
Professor of International Employment Relations
Middlesex University Business School
The Burroughs
London NW4 4BT
07545 487952<>
Global Work and Employment Project (GWEp)

Globalisation and Work Facebook Group:



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Global Economy


ESRC Seminar

Thursday September 2nd 2010 International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, UK

This one-day seminar, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is the second in the Middlesex University series examining emerging issues of global labour regulation. The seminar will be held at the International Slavery Museum ( in Liverpool’s dockside on Thursday September 2nd 2010 from 10am until 5.30pm.

Migration is an integral part of an increasingly internationalised economy. Around 3 per cent of the world’s population, just less than 200 million people, now live and work outside of their own country. This number has been growing at just less than 3 per cent in each year. The increased tendency for people to migrate to work and live has been spurred by changes in the world economy and the effects of structural economic change, or through war and civil upheaval, or environmental damage. Trade liberalisation and market de-regulation has also increased the propensity to migrate, as new geographical patterns of production have emerged. Yet labour migration is not a central concern of international agencies such as the WTO, the IMF or the World Bank. Migrant workers and their families are vulnerable to exploitation and racism, and labour market imbalances can result from migration in both sending and receiving countries.

The purpose of this seminar is to examine migration from a rights –based perspective. We hope to explore aspects of civil, human and social rights of migrant workers as well as labour and economic rights. Migrant labour is thus viewed from within perspectives of forced, slave and child labour as well as economic labour. As such the seminar welcome the participation of those academics, practitioners and migrant worker activists who wish to develop new agendas for regulating migrant labour through a variety of agency and policy initiatives.  

The seminar will be divided into two sessions. The first, thematic session, will examine alternative perspectives on migrant workers’ rights. The second session will present case studies from different world regions. Speakers/Participants will include: 

Marion Hellmann (Assistant General Secretary, Building and Wood Workers International, Geneva) – overview of migrant workers in the world economy

Professor Joshua Castellino (Law Department, Middlesex University) – A Rights Based Approach to Migration

Svetlana Boincean (International Union of Food, Farm and Hotel Workers ) -on eliminating Child Labour in agriculture and tobacco growing 

Heather Connolly and Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio (Manchester University)- Welfare Systems, Social Inclusion and Migrant Worker-Union Relations in the EU

Steve Craig (UCATT building workers’ union, UK) –  Vulnerable Work and Migration in the UK construction industry

Nick McGeehan (director of Mafiwasta , an organisation for migrant workers in the Gulf).

And case study representations from migrant worker activists in Ireland, the Gulf Region, Italy, and India.

If you are interested in participating in the seminar please register your interest with Denise Arden at Lunch and refreshments are provided and the seminar is free to attend, but registration in advance is necessary. More information can be obtained from the seminar organisers, Professor Martin Upchurch ( and Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio (

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Please forward the details of the UCAS Research Forums to anyone who may be interested in attending, or having their name put on our mailing list for future forums (see titles and abstracts below).


We are now taking bookings for the forum being held at UCAS, Cheltenham, on 21st May, when Miriam David will be giving a presentation on diversity and widening participation in higher education.

Email: to book your free place.



21st May, 14:00-16:00: Miriam David, ESRC Teaching & Learning Research Programme, Institute of Education

Diversity and widening participation in HE

This talk will be based upon Miriam David’s forthcoming edited book entitled Improving Learning by Widening Participation in HE (Routledge), which is based upon the findings from the seven projects funded through ESRC and TLRP on this topic, which ran from 2005 to 2008.

UCAS research forums aim to provide:

* Increased understanding of the UK’s education policy context

* Greater appreciation of the admissions experiences of UCAS’ stakeholders (applicants, higher education institutions (HEIs), schools and colleges)

* Robust approaches to research in the area of admissions and widening participation.

There is no charge for attending the forums, but places will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Please contact to book a place at any of the forums and/or to be added to the research forum mailing list



Future forums:


30 June, 14:00-16:00: Clare Holdsworth, University of Liverpool

‘They just change the bus route’: Students’ mobility decisions and orientation to Higher Education

One of the most anticipated, and at times regretted, outcomes of the recent expansion of higher education (HE) in England is the concomitant shift towards local recruitment of students, as opposed to the ‘traditional’ pattern of leaving home to go to university. While students’ mobility choices may be considered an outcome of their financial concerns, empirical research on students’ mobilities reveals a more complex reasoning. In particular it demonstrates the differential attitudes to and expectations of HE associated with mobility choices. This paper will review the evidence of changing patterns in students’ mobility and how mobility choices are associated with distinct orientations towards HE. In particular I consider how the decision to study local is associated with vocational/skill-enhancement approaches to HE rather than embracing Liberal Arts ideals.


17 September, 14:00-16:00: Bahram Bekhradnia, Higher Education Policy Institute

The experience of students into and within university

This seminar will address issues to do with access to university and the experience of students with different types of qualification when at university. It will draw in particular on the HEPI studies of the different experiences of students with vocational and academic level 3 qualifications, and the HEFCE research on ‘Who does best at university’.


4 November, 14:00-16:00: Matthew Williamson and Giles Martin, Queen Mary, University of London

Transitions to higher education: research into students’ expectations and experiences of learning and teaching

The seminar will be given by Dr Matthew Williamson and Dr Giles Martin of Queen Mary, University of London and will be presenting results of their research into student transition into higher education. This research, which focuses on expectations and experiences of learning and teaching and the ways in which students negotiate the transition from the teaching they have experienced before entering higher education and the methods they are exposed to, and skills they have to develop, once they start at university. The project used a survey of all new undergraduates, together with a series of interviews with selected students and visits to schools and colleges in the local area for observation and interviews. The seminar suggests ways in which students and staff can be better prepared for the transition into higher education.



Please contact to book a place at any of these forums.

Kind regards,


Dr. Harriet Dunbar-Goddet, Senior Research Officer, Policy and Communications, UCAS, T 01242 223723, F 01242 544954;

UCAS, Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3LZ



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