ILPC 2021, 12th to 14th April London


16 March 2020


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, university responses with restrictions to work-based travel, and obvious public health risks, it is with regret that we have taken the decision to cancel ILPC2020, which was due to take place in Newcastle next month. This includes pre-conference events, such as the Doctoral Workshop. We realize that this is disappointing news and disruptive to travel arrangements that some of you have already made. We waited for as much information as possible before making our decision, but what was received from universities, public authorities and delegates themselves made it inevitable and necessary.

The 38th International Labour Process Conference 2020

‘Critical Differences at Work’

Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.
15-17th April 2020

Conference Venue

The 38th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC) will be held in Newcastle, UK, between 15th and 17th April 2020. Newcastle is the vibrant cultural hub of North East England and was named ‘best place to visit in the world’ by Rough Guides in 2018. There are simply too many reasons to visit to list, and so we invite you to make your own enquiries. Newcastle is also in the vicinity of the picturesque Tyne Valley, Northumberland coastline and various National Parks. The region, which has often resided at the fringes of European empires, boasts a rich cultural history. It has good transport links, with a busy international airport and frequent direct trains from Edinburgh [1.5 hours] and London [3 hours]. We look forwards to welcoming you..

Call for Papers

Each year the ILPC brings together researchers from a variety of countries with the objective of enhancing our understanding of contemporary developments relating to work and employment within the broader political economy. The conference organisers welcome papers on any issue concerning the analysis of labour processes, labour markets, labour organising and labour reproduction. As ever, we always encourage papers that seek to develop inter-disciplinary linkages through their empirical, conceptual or theoretical content. Indicative traditional and recent topics include:

  • Labour process theory and other critical perspectives of work relations
  • Labour agency and changing forms of resistance; Industrial relations, representation and trade union strategies
  • New forms of workforce flexibility, insecurity and intensification
  • Inequality at work: gender, ethnicity, and class
  • Changing skills, knowledge and occupations
  • The politics of production, productivity and performance management
  • Structural imbalances in the global economy and the consequences for labour
  • Work and Employment in the Global South
  • Global value chains and ‘dimensions’ of labour (e.g. unfree/forced labour, informal work)
  • Finance capital and ‘financialisation’
  • Forms of employment and cleavages and solidarities between groups of workers
  • Austerity, welfare regimes and the workplace
  • Migrant labour, labour markets and the organization of production
  • Productive and reproductive labour in the global economy
  • Technology, ‘robotisation’, artificial intelligence and the digital economy
  • Time, space, place and the labour process

As we welcome your contributions within these broad areas, we also invite you to reflect on the conference theme - “critical divisions at work” - which will inform key elements of the conference programme. With increasingly polarised labour markets, it becomes ever more important for critical scholars to explore divisions that have become heightened in recent years. This includes critical divisions that lead to work-related inequality between individuals on the basis of class, gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality and other dimensions. It also includes the division between the mainstream managerial perspectives that advocate the possibility of good working conditions, and the reality of an increasingly precarious and insecure labour market. It includes critical divisions that emerging and are reproduced in relation to skills, production, financialisation, migration, geographical location and technology. Finally, we are interested in responses and resistance to divisions at work, both in terms of practical action in the workplace and industrial relations and from diverse types of critical theories.

Special Streams

Whilst most of the papers for the conference are submitted to the General Stream, ILPC also runs special streams. These streams are intended to expand our community of scholars and stimulate debate in new areas relevant to analysis of labour processes, labour markets, labour organising and labour reproduction. The 2020 conference will run the following special streams:

Abstract Submissions and Deadlines

All abstracts are externally reviewed. Papers must not have been previously published or presented elsewhere. The abstract should contain clear information about the topic, how it is being investigated and the intended contribution to knowledge.

Abstracts relating to new empirical research should contain information about theoretical orientation, findings, methodology and the stage of the research (if appropriate). Abstracts of papers that are concerned solely with theoretical or conceptual matters should provide clear information on how they address and advance relevant debates. Abstracts should be between 350-500 words.

Key words should be given that indicate the focus of research and the methods used.

The conference is also open to a small number of proposals for symposia. These differ from standard paper sessions in that they focus on s single theme and roundtable discussion. Abstracts should be submitted in the normal way, but should specify topic, rationale and contributing speakers.

ILPC abstract submission is now open! Use this link to go to the submission site.

The final deadline is October 31st, 2019. Decisions of acceptance will be made by early December 2019.

PhD workshop

Doctoral students and early career researchers are especially welcome at the ILPC. The 2020 conference will include a pre-Conference workshop and dinner, which will provide an opportunity to learn more about the scope and development of labour process research. It will also provide an informal environment in which to share experiences and develop relationships. Doctoral papers are not streamed separately at the conference. You will be asked to identify whether you are a doctoral student on registration and whether you wish to attend the doctoral workshop.

The 2020 Organising Team

Steve Vincent, Stewart Johnstone, David Lain, Julie Monroe and Stephen Procter: Newcastle University

Download a copy of this Call for Papers for the International Labour Process Conference 2020.