Business, Management, and Economics

The high-quality academic books, upper-level student texts and journal articles on our Business, Management and Economics list offer fresh perspectives on the economy, the future of work and organisations, and the relationship between business and addressing global social challenges.  

The list is home to a number of series including Organizations and Activism and Feminist Perspectives on Work and Organization, all of which are edited by leading scholars from the field, along with our journals in the area: Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Work in the Global Economy and Global Political Economy.

Business, Management and Economics

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This chapter explores the temporalities of gentrification, arguing that promises of inclusion can work to keep us hooked to a version of the present that actually forecloses an alternative vision of the future. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork and reflections collected after the redevelopment project’s ultimate approval, the chapter mobilizes temporality as a conceptual framework to focus on the active construction of multiple temporalities and the political work these do in (un)tying the past, present and future of the pub in the service of the normalization of dominant social relations. At the same time, I also argue that the kinds of socialities, relationships and friendships developed in trying to survive a violent present can lead to the creation of alternative queer utopias. These do not emerge from seeking inclusion within the dominant institutions and processes of capital accumulation, but from daring to imagine a queer future that overcomes the limits of the past and the up-beat, optimistic futures offered by gentrification.

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This chapter sets the stage for the ethnographic work by following the emergence of corporate investments in LGBTQ+ diversity in tandem with a story about the gentrification of east London. I read investments in diversity made by east London’s wealthiest dwellers against the backdrop of growing inequalities, austerity policies, the closure of queer spaces and the exclusionary tendencies of neoliberal processes of capital accumulation for some of the area’s most marginalized inhabitants. In the chapter I bring these threads together in order to reconcile corporate investments in LGBTQ+ diversity with a broader critique of capitalism and its crises.

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This chapter traces the emergence of a new brand of corporate diversity politics which, rather than requiring queer subjects to appear ‘virtually normal’ (Drucker, 2015), actually addresses them in their difference. I examine the emergence of queer difference as something that adds value not simply to the corporation but to the entrepreneurial queer self. The chapter documents fieldwork experiences at corporate LGBTQ+ networking events and, in particular, at the London chapter of the Lesbians Who Tech conference, a networking event catering to lesbian and queer women working in the world of tech. I argue that such events enshrine the neoliberal reconfiguration not only of queer labour but of queer life itself: the social, affective, inter-personal relations around which queer organizing unfolds. Ultimately, rallying queer people’s aspirations in capitalist economies, I argue that queer and lesbian tech CEOs and the corporate LGBTQ+ networking events that spawn them should be read as part of broader CEO-ization of the LGBTQ+ movement, whose interests have become increasingly aligned with those of corporations.

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This chapter builds on the findings presented in the previous chapters to argue in favour of an approach to the politics of diversity that reconciles contemporary corporate investments in queer inclusion with redistributive demands. Drawing from Samuel Delany’s (1999) distinction between ‘networking’ and ‘contact’ in the city, I suggest that diversity politics, in its current neoliberal formulation, works against spaces of queer interclass contact in favour of more sterile queer networking spaces. I also argue that queer activists should care about the disappearance of queer spaces not simply as memories of a riotous past but as spaces of queerness and interclass contact for the future, rejecting claims that doing so is either backwards-looking or mere nostalgia. While the book is critical and pessimistic of diversity politics in its current neoliberal formulation, the stories of the participants featured in the project also reveal that queer subjects remain engaged in various struggles to make their lives more liveable and to acquire resources that enable the successful performance – and, sporadically, resistance to – the various norms and normativities underpinning promises of inclusion.

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This chapter traces the ways in which diversity is ‘put to work’ in supposedly LGBTQ+ inclusive corporations, asking when this labour turns into a direct resource for labourers and/or for the corporation, and how and when it does not. I build my arguments by drawing from ethnographic interview encounters with employees in engaging in diversity work in supposedly inclusive workplace contexts. Focusing on the ways in which diversity work is experienced, negotiated and engaged, I problematize managerial readings of inclusivity by showing how doing diversity work comes with expectations about how differences are supposed to be laboriously performed and put to work in ways which are valuable to the corporation. I also problematize critical readings of inclusivity by arguing that queer subjects are not merely subordinate to diversity management but actively, creatively, strategically, exhaustingly and reluctantly engaging the politics of LGBTQ+ diversity in order to become included. Here distinctions between the cultural recognition of diverse gender/sexual subjects (inclusion) and economic matters of workplace redistribution (labour relations) are collapsed, exposing how managerial control in inclusive contexts is at once cultural and economic, operating through the labour involved in reproducing ‘queer value’.

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Diversity Politics and the Promise of Inclusion in London

In the 2010s, London’s LGBTQ+ scene was hit by extensive venue closures. For some, this represented the increased inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in society. For others, it threatened the city’s status as a ‘global beacon of diversity’ or merely reaffirmed the hostility of London’s neoliberal landscapes.

Navigating these competing realities, Olimpia Burchiellaro explores the queer politics of LGBTQ+ inclusion in London.

Drawing on ethnographic research conducted with activists, professionals and LGBTQ+ friendly businesses, the author reveals how gender and sexuality come to be reconfigured in the production and consumption of LGBTQ+ inclusion and its promises.

Giving voice to queer perspectives on inclusion, this is an important contribution to our understanding of urban policy, nightlife, neoliberalism and LGBTQ+ politics.

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The book locates promises of inclusion in a longer trajectory of neoliberal capitalist accumulation, gentrification, and the emergence of an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) industrial complex which seeks to extract the productive value of differences in pursuit of profit. Bringing together findings emerging from participant observation and open-ended interviews with queer activists and anti-gentrification campaigners, as well ‘career queers’ working in some of the world’s most powerful corporations, the book tells an ethnographic story unfolding across disparate queer worlds in London, offering a situated account of how queerness is currently becoming incorporated into the dominant institutions of capitalist modernity, and what goes into enabling certain inclusive openings for some while closing down others. Using the tension between new openings promised by LGBTQ-friendly corporations and the closure of LGBTQ+ spaces in London as its driving force, the book suggests that neoliberal promises of inclusion engender forms of gentrification – both of queer activism and of queer spaces – that are ultimately at odds with a genuinely transformative vision for queer leftist politics. In so doing the book joins discussions in queer studies, organization studies, urban planning, anthropology and LGBTQ+ studies on the relationship between queerness, identity politics and capitalism. It tries to convince critics of capitalism that following these queer discussions is important and urgent, and attempts to give radical, queer and LGBTQ+ activists the tools to locate opportunities for resistance, co-optation and doing inclusion otherwise in the pursuit of alternative (queer) futures.

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This chapter shifts the analytic lens from the corporate world to the social world of queer anti-gentrification activists and their struggle to resist the closure of a local gay pub as part of a redevelopment project. The chapter traces how a promise to reinclude a replacement LGBTQ+ venue on the site of the pub became such a site of contention. I draw from fieldwork conducted with the Friends of the Joiners Arms to trace the ‘straightening’ tendencies that inclusion has on queerness. Such ‘straightening tendencies’ work to bring queer desire and ways of inhabiting space and time back into line with the normative spatio-temporal logics of capital. The pub’s queerness was rendered unintelligible by the celebratory rhetoric of LGBTQ+ inclusion and the broader process of gentrification through which the pub was intended to be redeveloped. I argue that the story shows how inclusion can involve a merely instrumental recognition of difference which limits who and/or what can be(come) included according to capitalist logics. The chapter sheds light on the class politics of inclusion as well as some of the limits of doing inclusion within a broader context of gentrification.

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Policies are proposed as ‘radical humanism’ to eradicate poverty and redress inequality while vanquishing caste and untouchability. On the economic policy side, the chapter recommends intensification of cash and assets transfers and tax policy reform to reduce inequality through higher income tax progressivity, wealth, gift and inheritance taxes, increased taxes on luxuries, use of earmarked taxes for their intended purposes of education and health and tax administration reform to counter tax evasion.

It recommends cutting back bureaucratic hurdles, expanding private-public partnership in the provision of socio-economic services such as hospitals, and encouragement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for services to the very poor.

It recommends perceptible step-up of women’s rights through proportional representation and children’s condition including health and education. It proposes a youth task force to implement compulsory social service by youth in rural and urban sectors following existing global and prior domestic experience, and proposes a framework for services by sector. It urges political reform while pointing out that caste-based politics is unlikely to serve the nation in the long run.

It traces the ongoing work at the United Nations to draw attention to financial transfers of the colonial era and strongly suggests international financial reparations to counter the ramifications of global colonialism.

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Exclusion, Isolation, Domination and Extraction

Poverty in India is intimately connected with caste, untouchability, colonialism and indentured servitude, inseparable from the international experience of slavery and race.

Focusing on historical and modern practices, this book goes beyond traditional economic approaches to poverty and demonstrates its genesis in exclusion, isolation, domination and extraction resulting in the removal of human and economic rights. Examining cash and assets transfers and enhancement of women’s rights, primary health and education, it scrutinizes inadequacies in compensatory policies for redressing the balance.

This is an original interdisciplinary contribution that offers bold domestic and international policies anchored in human radicalism to eradicate poverty.

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