Rethinking the Future of Work

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Call for abstracts: Rethinking the Future of Work International Conference

What does the ‘future of work’ mean and why is there such an interest in anticipating this particular future? Does the future of work stand for the future in general? What are the risks and methodological limits in researching the future of work? What will be the transformations in the world of work, what anxieties and possibilities will they produce? In the future, will work disappear or will become a privilege for few? Could and should the underlying persistence of the normativity of work be avoided in thinking the future of work? Can we rethink work beyond the cult of success, recognition and personal achievement? What lessons do historical and contemporary social movements against work and the claims of the ‘right to be lazy’ provide for the future of work? What are the skills most likely to be in demand in the future, and how should the existing education system adjust to the future of work? What are the new competencies and skills that social sciences in particular can provide in order to meet the demands of automation? What are the responsibilities of social sciences in constructing the future of work?

We invite contributions to answer these questions and/or to address the following topics, although the list is by no means exhaustive: histories of the philosophy of work; theories of value and work; work and recognition; classical economic debates about work; disappearance and relocation of jobs; precariousness and ‘precariat’; ‘gig economy’ and new models of employment; methodological aspects of approaching the future of work; designs and proposals for a post-work society; work and the idea of universal basic income.

The above questions and topics are not intended to set strict boundaries, but to facilitate open and thematically wide-ranging discussions. The conference wants to be an opportunity for an open, interdisciplinary discussion of the problems and questions surrounding the future of work.

Organizational details: Please submit proposals of 300-500 words abstract for a 20-minute presentation by 15 December 2017,  to Please also indicate your name, professional status and institutional affiliation. Decision notices will be emailed by 10 January 2018.  Please note that there is no participation fee.

More information is available here.