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Alessandra Mezzadri

Senior lecturer, SOAS University of London

Membership statement

Alessandra is a feminist political economist based at SOAS, London, in the department of Development Studies. She has done extensive fieldwork in India, across multiple urban, peri-urban and rural sites. Her earlier research work has focused on the architecture of production, regional labour regimes and localized patterns of labour control characterizing the Indian export-oriented garment industry; on the incorporation of India into the global garment commodity chain; and on the limitations of corporate labour standards for labour in global commodity chains and production networks. Her more recent work has focused on the specific features and complex organization of the ‘Sweatshop Regime’ in factories and home-based settings in India; on labour contracting in global production; on the links between productive and reproductive realms of work, and on the interplays between labour regimes, the labouring body and health outcomes. Her research has been funded by the ESRC-DfiD (project ‘Labour standards and the working Poor in China and India’) and by the British Academy (project ‘The global Village? Homeworking in the global economy’). She is the author of The Sweatshop regime: Labouring Bodies, Exploitation, and Garments Made in India (CUP, 2017).

Alessandra is currently working on Marxian analysis as fieldwork method; on the links between social reproduction and informal labour; on productive and reproductive temporalities of exploitation in global commodity chains, including post-work dynamics; on the politics of global labour standards, Modern Slavery and labour unfreedom; and on gender, labour and globalisation. Since March 2020, she has also been researching and writing on COVID-19, PPE chains, and social reproduction.

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