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Precarious Work, Citizenship and the Law: Challenges and Opportunities

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dc.contributor.author Reilly, Amanda Jane
dc.date.accessioned 2008-09-05T02:58:39Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-13T01:07:53Z
dc.date.available 2008-09-05T02:58:39Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-13T01:07:53Z
dc.date.copyright 2006
dc.date.issued 2006
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/21916
dc.description.abstract In this thesis the problem of precarious work is examined and some proposals for the direction of future law reform are offered. While precarious work has a technical meaning in that it is understood to refer to low-waged and insecure employment, it is suggested that work is precarious in other senses too. Firstly, the concept of work itself is precarious in that it is socially and legally constructed and historically contingent. Secondly, work as currently organised is precarious in that its context is constantly evolving. A number of problems are identified as arising out of this precariousness and this thesis is concerned to offer a response within an analytical framework based around the idea of citizenship. While other understandings of the term are possible, for present purposes, citizenship is taken to be concerned with the exercise of a range of rights. And it is suggested that one potential underlying purpose of these rights is to facilitate both autonomy and inclusion for citizens. Given this understanding of citizenship it is argued that a work-centred paradigm of citizenship is flawed; it is unable to provide autonomy and inclusion for citizens in an environment where work is precarious. Hence, an alternative normative framework is constructed; one that is based around a paradigm of citizenship centred on political participation rather than on participation in work. Political participation in this sense is not limited to participation in formal, centralised sense of voting in elections, but also refers to engaging (as an empowered autonomous agent) in the processes of political discourse and to the shaping of norms in a wide variety of contexts. Specific criteria are identified as conducive to facilitating citizenship in this sense. They are: equality (including equality for women), multiple opportunities for social participation, empowerment and freedom. When these criteria are applied to the problem of precarious work the following conclusions are reached: 1) The right to work should be decoupled from other social and economic rights, and there should be a guaranteed basic income as a right of citizenship regardless of participation in paid work. 2) Work is still of importance when viewed through the lens of citizenship as political participation, as it is an important site of political discourse and, potentially, a source of both autonomy and inclusion for citizens. Therefore, work should be constructed so as to enhance citizenship in the sense of political participation as defined. This would entail the following: there should be equality of access to work; labour law should not be used as a means of entrenching inequality between workers; and workplace rights, including the right to unionise, should be equally available to all workers. 3) The normative framework of citizenship as political participation requires that time should be structured so as to facilitate both autonomy and inclusion. Flexible working arrangements must be constructed with this in mind. It is also suggested that a general reduction of working hours would be desirable and that the need for shared collective time should also be considered. en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title Precarious Work, Citizenship and the Law: Challenges and Opportunities en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Law en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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