In 2003, the concept of precarity emerged as the central organizing platform for a series of social struggles that would spread across the space of Europe. Four years later, almost as suddenly as the precarity movement appeared, so it would enter into crisis. To understand precarity as a political concept it is necessary to go beyond economistic approaches that see social conditions determined by the mode of production. Such a move requires us to see Fordism as exception and precarity as the norm. The political concept and practice of translation enables us to frame the precarity of creative labour in a broader historical and geographical perspective, shedding light on its contestation and relation to the concept of the common. Our interest is in the potential for novel forms of connection, subjectivization and political organization. Such processes of translation are themselves inherently precarious, transborder undertakings.
Keywords: precarity, Fordism, regulation school of economics, translation, creative labour, political organization, borders, networks, the common, new institutions
Neilson, Brett and Rossiter, Ned. ‘Precarity as a Political Concept, or, Fordism as Exception’, Theory, Culture & Society 25.7/8 (2008): 51-72.