Rethinking “surplus populations”: Theory from the peripheries


Don Kalb, the Academic Director of GRIP, together with Tom Cow and Stephen Campbell has co-edited a newly published theme section  of Focaal journal. The theme section focuses on “surplus populations”  and provides a critical look on the current capitalistic labour arrangements. It is particularly concerned with  “non-standard” labor in peripheral sites of capital accumulation and the ways it is integral to  capitalist value extraction.



Articles of the themes section address the material and ideological devaluations of  labor from variety of analytical and empirical angles the impact of such deevaluation process that exacerbates value extraction from labour in peripheries.  The theme section seeks to engage with questions of exploitation of  “non-standard” labourers, bourgeois economist approaches towards “surplus populations”, ideas of economic redundancy in relation to people engaging in  non-standard labor arrangements.


Focaal theme section includes following contributions:


All the articles in this theme section provide a critical inquiry into the category and concept “surplus population” underlining the various ways that even such ideologically devalued labor is often firmly integrated into the circuits of capital.


The whole publication is open access and available here:

Focaal Volume 2023 Issue 97: Rethinking “surplus populations”: Theory from the peripheries. Guest editors: Tom Cowan, Stephen Campbell, and Don Kalb (2023) (