Summer 2021 - LBST 310 D100

The Politics of Labour (3)

Class Number: 3614

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Logan Masilamani
    Office Hours: Tu 11:30-12:30 via Zoom
  • Prerequisites:

    30 units. Strongly Recommended: LBST 101.



Explores working class politics and the labour movement in the context of neoliberal economic and public policy, recurring economic crises, the changing nature of work, and declining union membership. Explores electoral politics and organized labour's relationship to political parties. Examines community unionism and workers' roles in social movements focused on civil rights, gender, and the environment, among others. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This course examines the politics of labour in the era of globalization. It starts with an overview of the new issues that globalization have raised (or are assumed to) in developing and developed states. As a result of deeper international interdependence, some workers in the world enjoy better opportunities, while others burden more risks; some countries provide better welfare protection for workers, while others undermine existing institutions that could minimize risks and uncertainties. Why do we see different outcomes at the societal level? What kinds of policies one might need in order to improve labour rights and distribute resources more equally?


Students will be given a comprehensive understanding of Politics and Labour issues in the era of globalization. The impact of the process of globalization has created tensions in labour movements around the world. Such tensions will be looked into, to provide students with a detailed response to such tensions and also a response by the various governments to resolve such tensions. Specific case studies will be highlighted throughout the semester to comprehend the various issues.

  • Critically evaluate initiatives and policies considering these political factors, using a causal comparative framework,
  • Practice being active, informed citizens on political issues surrounding labour issues.
  • In addition, students will be actively involved in the class through participation and debates, and will thus improve their presentation and writing skills


  • Participation 20%
  • Weekly notes 20%
  • Book review 20%
  • Final project and presentation 40%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Labour Studies Program follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



Unless otherwise stated, please see SFU Bookstore website for information on textbook purchase options.


All required readings will be available through Canvas, the SFU Library, or otherwise online as noted.


Dicken, P. (2015). Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy, 7th Ed. Guilford Press.
ISBN: 978-1-462519552

Martin, L. L., ed. (2015). The Oxford Handbook of the Political Economy of International Trade. Oxford University Press.
ISBN: 978-0-190077839

Ross, S. and Savage, L. (2020). Rethinking the Politics of Labour in Canada. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

Available for purchase (paperback, ePub, or PDF) through the publisher.
ISBN: 978-1-552664780

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).