Professor Jane Wills
Professor of Human Geography
School of Geography and The City Centre: Researching city lives and connections
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road, London E1 4NS
Phone: 020 7882 2752 (messages can be left on 020 7882 8200)
Fax: 020 7882 7479
Research interests:Over the past decade my research has been on: (1) the changing geo-political-economy of work, labour supply and labour politics; and (2) the development of community organising in the UK.
In 2010, the School of Geography and Citizens UK launched a new Masters in Community Organising - the first of its kind in the country. For more information please see the website: MA in Community Organising
From late 2012 I have been funded by the Leverhulme Trust to research localism in the UK. This project aims to explore the reasons why the local is being mobilised and prioritised at this particular time; it will consider people’s attitudes towards place and whether they want to take a greater role in political life and the conditions in which they do so; it will chart the outcomes of top-down and bottom-up localism and determine whether localism is a viable route to democratic renewal in the UK.
The research aims to take a national view of the localism agenda, its rationale and its impact in different parts of the country including rural and urban, rich and poor, well and weakly organised communities. I hope to explore the scope for engaging people on the basis of their locality, the conditions in which this proves possible and the limits to the current models of localism.
This is a departure from my previous research which has included:
The Global Cities at Work project, led with colleagues Kavita Datta, Jon May and Cathy McIlwaine, and funded by the ESRC. We explored London’s low waged labour market, the importance of subcontracting and immigration, and efforts to secure a living wage. This material is now published in Global Cities at Work: New migrant divisions of labour (Pluto, 2010) and there is more background about this collaborative research on the project website Global Cities at Work.
Ongoing research to map the development of the campaign for a living wage in the UK that includes a recent project to measure the costs and benefits of the London living wage (funded by Trust for London). There is a lot more information about this work on a separate website: London Living Wage Research.
To BUY a discounted copy of Global Cities at Work, click here:
- Global cities at work: New migrant divisions of labour. Pluto, London, 2010. Written with Kavita Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, Jon May and Cathy McIlwaine.
- Threads of labour: Garment industry supply chains from the workers’ perspective. Blackwell, Oxford, 2005. Edited with Angela Hale.
- Place, space and the new labour internationalisms. Blackwell, Oxford, 2001. Edited with Peter Waterman.
- Union Futures: Building networked trade unionism in the UK.
Fabian Ideas pamphlet 602. 2002. pp. 59. This publication is available from the Fabian Society, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dissident geographies: An introduction to radical ideas and practice. Longman, London. Prentice Hall (Pearson), London, 2000. Written with Alison Blunt.
- Geographies of economies. Arnold, London, 1997. Edited with Roger Lee.
Journal Papers and book chapters:
- Taking on the cosmocorps: Experiments in trans-national labor organization. Economic Geography, 1998, 74, 111-130.
- Managing European Works Councils in British firms. Human Resource Management Journal, 1999, 9, 4, 19-38.
- Great expectations: Three years in the life of one EWC. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 2000, 6, 83-105.
- Uneven geographies of capital and labour: the lessons of European Works Councils. Antipode, 2001, 33, 484-509.
- Community unionism and trade union renewal in the UK: Moving beyond the fragments at last? Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2001, 26, 465-483.
- Bargaining for the space to organise in the global economy: A review of the Accor–IUF trade union rights agreement. Review of International Political Economy, 2002, 9, 675-700.
- The Geography of Union Organising in Low-Paid Service Industries in the UK: Lessons from the T&G’s Campaign to Unionise the Dorchester Hotel, London Antipode, 2005, 37.
- Building reciprocal community unionism in the UK. Capital and Class, 2004, 82, 59-84. Written with Melanie Simms.
- The geography of union organising in low paid service industries in the UK: lessons from the T&G’s campaign to unionise the Dorchester Hotel, London. Antipode, 2005, 37, 139-59.
- Globalisation and Protest, in P. Cloke, P. Crang and M. Goodwin (eds) Introducing human geographies (second edition). London: Arnold. 2005, 573-587.
- Networking for workers rights in the garment industry. Global Networks, 2007, 7, 3. Written with Angela Hale.
- Making class politics possible: Organizing contract cleaners in London. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 2008, 32, 2, 305-24.
- The living wage. Soundings: A journal of politics and culture, 2009, 42, 33-46.
- The London Living Wage in A. Kumar, J. A. Scholte, M. Kaldor, M. Glasius, H. Seckinelgin and H. Anheier (eds) Global Civil Society Yearbook 2009: Poverty and activism. London: Sage.
- Subcontracted employment and its challenge to labour. Labor Studies Journal, special issue on community unionism, 2009, 34, 4. Note: this paper was the most downloaded article in 2010 in this journal (of all articles published in 2009 and 2010).
- Identity making for action: the example of London Citizens, in M. Wetherell (Ed) Theorizing Identities and Social Action. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 157–76.
- The multi-scalarity of trade union practice, in S. McGrath-Champ, A. Herod and A. Rainnie (eds) Handbook of employment and society: Working space. Edward Elgar, 2010, 383–97. Written with J. Anderson and P. Hamilton.
- Academic agents for change. City, 2010, 14, 6, 616–18.
- The geography of community and political organisation in London. Political Geography, 2012 , 31, 114–126.
- London’s Olympics in 2012: The good, the bad and an organising opportunity. Political Geography, 2013, see early online publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2012.12.003
- Place and politics, in Featherstone, D and Painter, J. (eds) Spatial politics: Essays for Doreen Massey. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013, 135–145.
The following are all written with Kavita Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, Jon May and Cathy McIlwaine, from ESRC-funded research called Global Cities at Work:
- Keeping London working: Global cities, the British state, and London’s new migrant division of labour. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 2007, 32, 151–67.
- Subcontracting by stealth in London’s hotels: impacts and implications for labour organising. Just Labor: A Canadian journal of work and society, 2007, 10, 85–97.
- From coping strategies to tactics: London’s low pay economy and migrant labour. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2007, 45, 2, 404–32.
- The new development finance or exploiting migrant labour? Remittance sending among low-paid migrant workers in London, International Development Planning Review, 2007, 29, 1.
- Multicultural living? Experiences of everyday racism among Ghanaian migrants in London. European Urban and Regional Studies, 15, 2, 103–117. London’s Migrant Division of Labour. European Urban and Regional Studies special issue on Regions and migration, 2009, 3: 257–271.
- Religion at work: The role of faith-based organisations in living wage campaigns for immigrant workers in London. Special issue entitled Transforming Work, The Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 2009, 2, 3, 443–62.
- Men on the move: narratives of migration and work among low-paid migrant men in London. Social & Cultural Geography, 10, Issue 8, 2009: 853–873.
- Global Cities at Work: Migrant labour in low paid employment in London, The London Journal, 2010, 35, 1.
- Migrant Workers and the Global City, Sociology Review, 2010, 13–16.
- A migrant ethic of care? Negotiating care and caring among migrant workers in London's low pay economy, Feminist Review, 2010, 94, 1, 93–116.
- The business case for the living wage: the story of the cleaning service at Queen Mary [PDF 1.52 MB]
- The living wage report press release [DOC 83 KB]
A report prepared for the Social Care Commission and Civic Engagement Commission for the London Methodist District 2007
- Mapping Low Pay in East London (2001) for TELCO [DOC 350 KB]
Research into the Development of Job Rotation in London, funded by the European Social Fund (2001-2)