From Marx's 'Double Freedom’ to ‘Degrees of Unfreedom’: Methodological Insights from the Study of Uzbekistan’s Agrarian Labour

Lombardozzi, Lorena (2021). From Marx's 'Double Freedom’ to ‘Degrees of Unfreedom’: Methodological Insights from the Study of Uzbekistan’s Agrarian Labour. In: Mezzadri, Alessandra ed. Marx in the Field. Anthem Frontiers of Global Political Economy and Development. London: Anthem Press, pp. 147–159.

Abstract

The condition of extreme labour exploitation often observable in current global capitalism is described by many studies in social sciences as ‘forced labour’. However, by depicting an ahistorical picture detached from its capitalist social forms, such defi nitions often reproduce shallow analyses of labour and moralistic knowledge, which conceal the structural determinants of labour exploitation. Trying to problematize the concept of labour freedom
through a Marxian historical materialist perspective and mixed methods, this chapter uses the case of agrarian labour in Uzbekistan of post- Soviet independence to investigate the
empirical, methodological and epistemological complexities underpinning such concept.
Finally, while making explicit the policy implications the country faces to regulate and protect labour, the chapter provides some reflections on the contradictions of late capitalist accumulation in low- income countries.

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