Temporary Migrant Labour and the Spatial Structuring of Class in the Gulf Cooperation Council

Adam Hanieh


In the concluding pages to his Limits to Capital, David Harvey makes a powerful argument that the configuration of space needs to be understood as an ‘active constitutive moment in the dynamics of accumulation’. By this, Harvey means that the configuration of space both enables and expresses the form taken by capitalist accumulation, while simultaneously acting as a possible mechanism of crisis resolution – a process that Harvey described as a ‘spatial fix’. Capitalism is continually precipitating shifts in the relationships between different spaces – the movement of capital and labour across countries and regions, devaluation of existing fixed capital complexes in specific spaces, the creation of new class fractions and alliances across geographical zones and so forth. Through this incessant reworking of its own spatiality, capitalism lays the basis for new and expanded possibilities of accumulation. Simultaneously, contradictions begin to grow within these spatial relations – over time developing into fetters on accumulation that inevitably end in a sharp break and transition to a new configuration of space.

Continue Reading