NEC UEFISCDI Award
National Institute of Criminology, Bucharest
The project explores practices of temporary work agencies, companies relying on African and Asian guest workers, and the state in the area of shaping a non-EU migrant labour regime in Romania. The working hypothesis concerns the `privatization` of immigration and labour policies, which 1) unfolds as a result of the collaborations between government and private actors, and 2) effects a growing precarisation of migrant workers and of labour more generally. Examining policies and informal practices ethnographically (with fieldwork in Bucharest), the project will look at how private and public actors manage the Asian workforce, and how the ‘privatisation’ of labour and immigration policies unfolds in the lives of migrant workers. The study will consider the workers’ struggles for decent work and living conditions pointing to the pivotal roles of private actors and the state in this transformation based on criminalisation of claims and state violence in the regulation of migrant labour.