Charles Woolfson
Charles Woolfson

In this episode of AnthroTalking we talk to Charles Woolfson, who is professor of labour studies at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO) at Linköping University, Sweden. From a critical perspective, Charles Woolfson looks at processes of labour migration, industrial relations and working environments and is currently working on issues related to austerity programmes employed to restore and rehabilitate economic growth.

With a special geographical focus on the Baltic States and Sweden, in the interview Charles Woolfson elaborates on the decline and normalization of deteriorated labour standards due to an informalisation of the labour market and takes into account the influential Laval case from 2004. Besides this he talks about how austerity measures are currently seen as the “new normal” and questions whether this model, as applied in the Baltic States, can be seen as a success story or as a myth.

Published on:

April 9, 2015

Created by:

Kinga Jankus and Sanna Poelman


labour studies, labour migration, labour unions, informalisation, austerity, Baltic States, Sweden, Laval case, Charles Woolfson

Further information:


Charles Woolfson has published widely on the topic and in this podcast we specifically focus on the following articles:

  • Woolfson, Charles; Likic-Brboric, Branka and Slavnic, Zoran 2013. Labour Migration and Informalisation: East meets West. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 33. Issue 11-12, pp. 677–692.
  • Woolfson, Charles; Fudge, Judy and Thörnqvist, Christer 2014. Migrant precarity and future challenges to labour standards in Sweden. Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 35, Issue 4, pp. 695–715.

Cite as:

Jankus, Kinga and Poelman, Sanna “Charles Woolfson on Austerity and the Informalization of the Labour Market” AnthroTalking: Podcasts at Stockholm University’s Department of Social Anthropology, online April 9, 2015,


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