Revisiting the New International Division of Labour Thesis

Guido Starosta


The paper outlines a thoroughly revised ‘new international division of labour (NIDL) thesis, drawing upon research from the CICP, that explains global transformation and uneven development on the basis of the progress of the automation of capitalist large-scale industry, and its impact on the individual and collective productive subjectivity of the working class. Today, in an ever more complex constellation of the NIDL, capital searches worldwide for the most profitable combinations of relative cost and qualities/disciplines resulting from the variegated past histories of the different national fragments of the working class. Each country therefore tends to concentrate a certain type of labour-power of distinctive ‘material and moral’ productive attributes of a determinate complexity, which are spatially dispersed but collectively exploited by capital as a whole in the least costly possible manner.