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Workshop Call for Papers

Asian Connections:
Linking Mobilities of Capital and Labour in Theory and Practice

May 12-13, 2017
York University
Toronto, Canada

Deadline for Paper Proposals: November 30, 2016

This workshop seeks to reunite the study of corporate and migrant transnationalisms by exploring how they are causally or structurally connected in the context of cross-border mobilities of capital and labour into, out of, and within, Asia.  The workshop aims to generate new insights by bringing together scholars working in diverse theoretical frameworks, disciplinary traditions, methodologies, historical periods and geographical contexts.

Capitalist development in all parts of the world has always been characterized by the restless mobility of both capital and labour, in search of profit and livelihood respectively. Capital, in the form of transnational corporate organizations, may relocate or outsource production for various reasons including supply chain configurations, market access, regulatory considerations and the cost, skill or availability of labour.  Workers may move in search of employment, security, career advancement or entrepreneurial opportunities. These two forms of mobility are not, however, unconnected: capital flows may attract inward migration to employment opportunities; transnational corporations may rely on the mobility of expatriate staff; the new jobs and wealth that rounds of corporate investment bring, along with disruptions of social structures, may enable or induce outward migration; new corporate investment patterns may follow earlier migrations; and capital and labour mobility may be controlled through the same regulatory frameworks such as trade agreements, albeit in different ways. The mobilities of capital and labour are, then, often linked and yet they are usually researched as separate phenomena. Saskia Sassen’s comment almost three decades ago, that the two processes of capital and labour mobility “have been constructed into unrelated categories” (1988:12), still largely holds true.  

Questions and topics might include (but are not limited to):
The format of the workshop will feature detailed discussion and feedback on 12 individual papers over two days.  The goal of the workshop is to produce an edited collection or journal special issue from a selection of papers presented.

Travel and accommodation expenses for selected participants in the workshop will be covered.

We hope to attract participants at all career academic career stages with a strong track record of research and publication related to the theme of the workshop.

Submission of Proposals

Paper proposals can be sent to the workshop organizers listed below and should include:

The deadline for submission of these items is November 30, 2016.  Successful applicants will be notified by January 6, 2017 and will be asked to send in a completed draft paper (5000-8000 words) by April 1, 2017.

Conference Organizers:

Dr. Preet S. Aulakh, Professor of Strategy and International Business
Pierre Lassonde Chair in International Business, Schulich School of Business, York University. E-mail:
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Dr. Philip Kelly, Professor of Geography, and Director, York Centre for Asian Research York University. Email: [log in to unmask]

(See attached file: Asian Connections Call For Papers.pdf)
Preet S. Aulakh, Ph.D.
Professor of Strategy
Pierre Lassonde Chair in International Business
Schulich School of Business, N305C
York University
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
Phone: (416) 736-2100, Ext. 77941


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