Guest Lecture | Inequality, Labor, and Human Rights: The Future of Work in the Age of Pandemic
Over the past decade, concerns about the “future of work” have preoccupied scholars, policymakers, NGOS, and international organizations. Many forecast massive job displacement caused by advances in automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and digitization. As formal labor’s share of national income continues to shrink around the world, informal employment, underemployment, and non-waged work increasingly characterize the lives of many. Silicon Valley tycoons, Marxist critics, far-right populists, and even a long-shot U.S. presidential candidate have all predicted the end of work as we know it. Soaring rates of unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic confirm even the gloomiest prognoses, albeit for different reasons than anticipated.
Our Fall 2020 Colloquium presents an interdisciplinary group of scholars who will explore these and other prognoses of the future of work as well as proposals for responding to them, in light of deeply entrenched inequality within and across countries.