Border Capitalism, Disrupted


Stephen Campbell


Peter Vandergeest 


June 20, 2017, 6:30-9:00pm, Centre for Social Innovation (Annex)


This session of The Capitalism Workshop celebrates the publication of Border Capitalism, Disrupted, an insightful ethnography of precarious migrant labor at the Mae Sot Special Border Economic Zone on the Myanmar border in northwest Thailand. Building upon workerist and autonomist theory and grounding it in ethnographic fieldwork, Stephen Campbell highlights the ways in which workers’ struggles have catalyzed transformations in labour regulation at the frontiers of capital in the global south. In this session, Campbell emphasizes the everyday practices of migrants, the police, employers, NGOs, and private passport brokers to understand the “politics of precarity” and the new forms of worker organization and resistance that are emerging in Asian industrial zones in contexts of changing labour-capital relations, ongoing working-class struggles and the weakening of formal unions.

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Stephen Campbell (PhD, Anthropology, University of Toronto, 2015) is a socio-cultural anthropologist in the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University. His current research deploys workerist-autonomist theory and ethnographic fieldwork in Myanmar and Thailand to address questions of state formation, borders, migration, capitalism, and class struggle.



Campbell (2018) Introduction to Border Capitalism, Disrupted


Border Capitalism, Disrupted