Neilson, D. & Stubbs, T. (2011). Relative surplus population and uneven development in the neoliberal era: Theory and empirical application. Capital & Class, 35(3), 435-453.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6087
This paper offers the groundwork of an alternative to mainstream (un)employment theory that builds on Marx’s account of the ‘active army’ and ‘relative surplus population’. With special application to the current neoliberal era, Marx’s long-range labour market analysis is connected to a mid-range account of capitalism’s uneven development in historical practice. This alternative approach is then adapted to an ‘empirically adequate’ statistical mapping of the relative surplus population’s contemporary global composition. Under neoliberal global capitalism, the relative surplus population is identified as being larger than the active army, and is unevenly composed and distributed across developed, developing and underdeveloped countries.