Prof. David Spencer

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The future of work and working time: introduction to special issue

This introduction to the special issue on the future of work and working time offers an overview of issues of relevance to present-day debates on working time. The aim is to bring together two divergent debates, the first on working time reduction for full-time workers and the second on [...]

Marx, Keynes and the future of working time

This paper re-examines the different visions of the future of working time offered by Marx and Keynes. While Marx and Keynes differed radically on some fundamental matters, they agreed that society would benefit from reducing work time. The idea of society using technology to curtail work hours was a [...]

Technology and work: Past lessons and future directions

This paper addresses arguments that suggest life would be better if machines took the place of humans in work. These arguments are highly topical and remain central to modern debates on automation. Yet, as argued in this paper, they have a long history. They draw strength from different ideas [...]

A Four-Day Working Week: its Role in a Politics of Work

From a fringe idea with limited wider support, the goal of a four-day working week has moved into the spotlight in contemporary policy debates. Indeed, a growing number of businesses have agreed to pilot a four-day working week. This article examines what the turn to this goal means for [...]

How to make automation work for workers

David Spencer argues that if workers and society rather than big tech companies such as Amazon are to benefit from automation, they need to have a larger influence and stake in it.

Furloughing and COVID-19: assessing regulatory reform of the state

This article assesses regulatory reform of the state in the context of the move to furloughing in the UK. It establishes that furloughing was a successful response to the COVID-19 crisis, partly because it challenged the traditional UK crisis response of non-state intervention in the labour market. Furloughing prevented [...]

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