Dr. Guy Standing to Speak at MHC October 18

Posted: October 10, 2006

Updated: October 19, 2006 - Listen to the Audio File (35.5 MB.MP3)

Dr. Guy Standing, former director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva and current professor of economic security at the University of Bath, will be the Global Scholar-in-Residence at Mount Holyoke from October 16 to 20.

Dr. Standing will be the third scholar brought to the campus by the Center for Global Initiatives. He follows Gro Brundtland, former director-general of the World Health Organization and past prime minister of Norway, and Rami Khouri, executive editor of Beirut's Daily Star newspaper. Khouri inaugurated the center's program to bring prominent international figures to campus to engage the community in dialogue on important global issues in a variety of settings, from lectures to classes to informal gatherings.

At 7:30 pm Wednesday, October 18, Standing will present a lecture titled "Work and Labor: The Global Transformation." The talk will be in Gamble Auditorium in the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and will be free, open to the public, and accessible to all.

During his week at Mount Holyoke, Dr. Standing will participate in various classes at the College, focusing on labor as a human rights issue and international governance, and discussing with students works by Karl Polanyi as well as his own public lecture. Dr. Standing will also meet with local union representatives for a discussion titled "Does Labor Stand a Chance against Corporate Globalization?" In addition, he will meet with faculty members of the Five Colleges for a dinner and discussion about the challenges of global governance.

"We are delighted that Dr. Guy Standing is our Global Scholar-in-Residence this fall engaging the community on the critical issues of globalization, work, and labor in the twenty-first century," said Eva Paus, professor of economics and director of the Center for Global Initiatives. "Over the course of the last decade, the expansion of global capitalism has dramatically increased the vulnerability and insecurity of workers in many countries of the world. With the near perfect global mobility of capital, the high immobility of labor across national borders, and the doubling of the global labor force, formal sector jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions of many workers are increasingly being threatened. Guy Standing is one of the world's foremost analytical and creative thinkers about these important issues."

A world-renowned expert on the working conditions, labor markets, and social protection policies in developed and developing countries, Dr. Standing was a member of Bruno Kreisky's Commission on European Employment, a consultant to the U.S. President's Commission on Unemployment Statistics, and to many governments and international bodies, including the World Bank, the UNDP, the European Commission, and the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights.

As well as serving as the former director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme at the ILO, the U.N. specialized agency that seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights, Dr. Standing was coordinating editor and writer from 1999 to 2006 of the ILO's Economic Security for a Better World, a global report issued in 2004. In 1998-99, he was on the "transition team" for the ILO's new director general, set up to help restructure the ILO. From 1992 to 1994 he was director of the ILO's Central and Eastern European office, based in Budapest, advising governments, employers, and trade unions on reforms in labor and social policy in countries in that region.

In recent years, Dr. Standing was a member of the International Committee on Emerging Human Rights, set up as part of the Barcelona Social Forum. From 2000 to 2002 he was an adviser on the South African Committee for the Comprehensive Reform of Social Security. Having written two books on the topic of South Africa, Standing has worked extensively with that government.

In addition to his direct work with governments, he has written and edited books on labor economics, labor market policy, unemployment, labor market flexibility, structural adjustment policies, and social protection policy. His most recent book is Economic Security for a Better World(Geneva, ILO, 2004).

He has a doctorate in economics from the University of Cambridge and a master's degree in industrial relations and labor economics.

Mount Holyoke's Center for Global Initiatives (CGI) was founded in 2004 to promote, coordinate, and implement Mount Holyoke's mission to develop globally competent students. The CGI coordinates, integrates, and articulates the College's existing internationally related offerings into a coherent and dynamic whole, and it initiates new global education activities reaching out across the campus to the local and worldwide community.

Related Link:

Global Education on Campus