Global Transformations and the British Working Class, 1997-2010

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • William Harvey


This thesis examines the uneven development of the productive subjectivity of the British working class, and how this was expressed in patterns of regional, racial, ethnic, and gendered patterns of inequality between 1997- 2010. I examine the transformation of the British working class in its proper global and historical context by analysing the shifting dynamics of production and labour markets across the world. My key claim is that the permanent revolutions in the productivity of labour across the world were experienced differentially by different working classes in the UK. I examine the uneven development of the productive subjectivity of the working class, the differentiation in the materiality of work, and the conditions of reproduction of different working classes. The thesis also reassesses the New Labour government’s approach to engineering competitiveness in the global economy by foregrounding its management of British labour-power. Drawing on recent theoretical developments in Marxist value theory, it covers crucial issues such as industrial policy, labour market policy, and social policy, but in an innovative way – thereby making an original and significant contribution to critical literatures that have, to date, focused largely on the New Labour government’s management (and depoliticisation) of monetary policy. The thesis makes a contribution to recent theoretical developments in Marxist value theory that have taken place largely outside of the UK. The research offers fresh empirical insights into capital and the state’s attempts to improve the productivity of labour through the promotion of different skills and technologies, and the transformation of the organisation and means of production and the reproduction of labour-power.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2020