Developed and developing countries in Asia and the Gulf have become increasingly reliant on temporary migrant workers to fuel economic growth. This trend has been accompanied by a noticeable rise in migrant labour unrest in this region which has taken a myriad of forms under both liberal and illiberal political regimes. Existing approaches in migrant labour politics emphasizing political and civil society impediments to contestation do not sufficiently account for these developments.
In contrast to contentious politics approaches, this book emphasizes the importance of production politics, or struggles in the workplace between workers and their employers, in explaining the extent to which migrant labour regimes can be contested. Based on a study of Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore, as well as on comparative material in the region, it argues that the form of migrant labour politics, in any given context, are significantly influenced by the specific form of production politics as well as their variable outcomes.