ICDD Breakfast Talks

Good food for thought, and stomach!

Guest scientists and members of the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) present and discuss current research or themes of special interest. In addition, participants are invited to a little breakfast buffet with tea, coffee, bread, cheese, jam, fruits etc.

All ICDD members and all interested persons are welcome!

Time: Thursdays (fortnightly during the semester), 8:15 – 9:45 (please use the buffet from 8:15-8:30 mainly)


Kassel: ICDD, Kleine Rosenstr. 3 (5th floor), seminar room

Witzenhausen: Steinstr. 19, H12

If not stated otherwise, the talks are held at the ICDD in Kassel.

Different venue: Witzenhausen, Steinstr. 19, H12

23 October 2018

Land quality variation across agropastoral landscapes in West Africa: both cause and symptom of inter-household inequities

Prof. Dr. Matt Turner (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

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Matt Turner is Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. See his full academic biography and record.

25 October 2018

The Macron fallacy – neoliberalism and authoritarianism in an advanced capitalist country

Dr. Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand)

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Nicolas Pons-Vignon is a Senior researcher in the School of Economic and Business Sciences (SEBS) at Wits University, South Africa. He is also the Programme director for the Masters in Development Theory and Policy. Nicolas has been the editor of the Global Labour Column since its inception in 2009. His research focuses on labour markets, economic policy, and the role of the state in economic development. Nicolas initiated the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) in 2007. Before coming to South Africa in 2004, he worked in Paris at the OECD Development Centre, where he researched violent conflicts in developing countries. Nicolas holds a PhD from EHESS (Paris).

8 November 2018

Decent Work in the port industry: resilience of social dialogue

Abstract of the presentation

Dr. Oluesegun Oladeinde (Bells University of Technology, Nigeria)

22 November 2018

The invisibility of the black population in modern slavery: evidence based on conditions of social vulnerability

Dr. Rodrigo Baptista (University of Kassel, ICDD)

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The aim of this article is to identify the associations between the social conditions of vulnerability and the racial profile of modern slavery. It presents findings from qualitative research developed between 2011 and 2016 on the institutional and organizational mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of modern slavery in Brazil, based on the theoretical framework of Crane (2013), Bales (2004) and Datta and Bales (2013; 2014). From a methodological point of view, this study makes use of socioeconomic, geographic, sociocultural and social vulnerability indicators produced mainly by the reports published by members of the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor Institute (Instituto Pacto Nacional pela Erradicação do Trabalho Escravo - InPACTO) and the public sector. The article’s contribution centers on the incorporation of the variable race and color, indicating its relation to modern slavery, in addition to showing how contemporary slave labor coexists with the economically representative productive chains in Brazil, some of which are members of InPACTO.

Rodrigo Baptista is a postdoc researcher at the Chair of Supply Chain Management, Department of Economics, at the University of Kassel and postdoc fellow at the ICDD.

6 December 2018

Agricultural workers and smallholders in global value chains: No social upgrading without collective action

Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherrer, Dr. Ismail D. Karatepe (University of Kassel, ICDD)

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Comparing the value chains for staple, perishable and traditional export produce on three continents, we explore the conditions under which the working and livelihood conditions of smallholders and workers improve.

Christoph Scherrer is Professor for Globalisation and Politics at the University of Kassel and Exective Director of the ICDD. See his academic record and biography.

Ismail D. Karatepe is a postdoc researcher at the ICDD. See his academic record and biography.

17 January 2019

China´s changing role in the global political economy: competing IR/IPE perspectives

Jenny Simon, Alvin Yang (University of Kassel)

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Will China be the new hegemon, or the next contender state being integrated in US dominated global financial relations? Exploring different dimensions of China’s integration into global finance, Jenny Simon discusses the implications for the global financial order and its power relations.
Alvin Yang approaches the issue of China's changing role in the global order by focusing on its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Contrasting the manifold imaginations related to this project, he explores how the BRI is perceived, understood and interpreted by competing IR/IPE theories.

Jenny Simon is a lecturer and doctoral fellow at the University of Kassel. Her research focuses on China´s integration in global finance with special consideration of transforming global power relations. She holds a degree in Political Science.

Xiao (Alvin) Yang is a PhD Candidate at the University of Kassel. His dissertation examines the emerging Chinese IR/IPE theories and the Belt and Road initiative. His research interests include global IR and IPE theories, Chinese and Canadian IR theories, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, global governance, global political economy, research methods, econometrics, and philosophy of science/s and history/s.

31 January 2019

The reconstruction of the international labor movement in the ‘Cold War’ era: lessons for contemporary social movements

Dr. Tolga Tören (University of Kassel, ICDD)

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As widely agreed in the literature, although international labour movement is in crisis in the last decade of the twentieth century, by the turn of the century, there has been an upswing in the form of popular uprisings. However, despite the involvement of some trade unions in the current unrests, and despite the attempts by some labour organizations to come together with the social movements or to take up a social movement orientation, it is still necessary to discuss the question of if the trade union movement has surpassed its crisis in playing a leading role in the social unrests.

In contrast, in comparison with the mid-1940s, during which trade union movement was the leading element of social unrests, today, international labor movement is inadequate in directing / shaping the popular backlash, although there has been some interesting experiences, especially from the developing world, besides the popular movements mentioned above. In other words, the crisis of the traditional international labour movement still continues in the given lack of class perspective.

From such a point of view, I aim to discuss the continuing influence of the reconstruction of international labour movement in the post Second World War period within the context of ‘economic growth’ and “politics of productivity” on international labour movement’s relation with today’s emerging social movements. In this respect, I plan to discuss the issue through there axis:

Firstly, and particularly focusing on, the reconstruction of international labour movement within the context of ‘economic growth’ and politics of productivity” in the post Second World War period. Secondly, the crisis of capitalism in the early 1970s regarding the responses by the different sections of the international trade union movement. Finally, the period from the late 1990s to date, dealing with the changing character of resistance, specifically dealing with the interrelations between the traditional labour movement and the emerging social movements.

Tolga Tören completed his master's degree(s) at Marmara University Institute of Social Sciences Department of Development Economics and Economic Growth, and -as a part of Global Labour University (GLU) - at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg / South Africa) Faculty of Humanities, Program of Labor Policy and Globalization (LPG) (2010). He completed his PhD at Marmara University, Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Development Economics and Economic Growth (2012).  Between 2004 - 2008, he served as a member of  organizing committee of the Symposium on Working Class Studies I - II - II - IV by the Turkey Class Researches  Center (TUSAM) in collaboration with the Social Researches Foundation (SAV). Currently serving as a member of editorial board of Praksis and Katkı, referred journals of social sciences in Turkish, Tören has publications and studies on such topics as development studies, labour studies, post Second World War period, capitalist development in Turkey and capitalist development in South Africa. Because of the fact that he is one of the signatories of the petition entitled "We will not be part of this crime" by the Academics for Peace Initiative in January 2016 in Turkey, he conducts his studies at the International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) of the University of Kassel as a scholar at risk.

Impressions from Breakfast Talk (21st June)