Call for Papers: NEW FORMS OF WORKER ORGANIZATION AND STRUGGLES




   

Call for Papers

NEW FORMS OF WORKER ORGANIZATION AND STRUGGLES: AUTONOMOUS LABOR RESPONSES IN TIMES OF CRISIS

edited volume by Dario Azzellini / Michael G. Kraft

SYNOPSIS

The aim of this volume is to examine how capital’s relentless effort to transform the organized workplace, and how the deterioration of institutionalized national collective bargaining as the dominant model for worker representation, are increasing the significance of new, anti-bureaucratic forms of syndicalist, neo-syndicalist and autonomous worker representation. These new forms of representation are rooted in self-activity and are committed to anti-capitalism. They are also increasing the democratic capacity of workers to advance their own interests.

Hence, this collection critically examines the rise of contemporary forms of syndicalist, neo-syndicalist and autonomous worker representation with examples drawn from throughout the world. It challenges the widespread vision among progressives and some leftists that a reinvigorated, but conventional, unionism is the best institutional means to counter neoliberalism. The contributions in this collection demonstrate the alternative means that many workers are pursuing to advance their own interests through self-organization, as the heirs of the earlier generations of socialist and anarchist labor formations.

The global decline in trade union power over the last 30 years of ascendant neoliberal economic policy has led to the configuration of new forms of worker organization that reject traditional collective bargaining and corporatist models in favor of direct action, and autonomous organization. The new forms of worker organization that we are concerned with are typically rooted in class solidarity that emerges at the workplace and in the community. They seek to counter the growth of precarious labor and reformist labor relations by cultivating democratic structures at the point of production, and they envision a society free of capitalism.

The collection focuses on country studies and specific case studies in both the Global South as well as the Global North (from India to Colombia, South Africa, the Balkans, Germany, USA, Algeria, etc). The chapters demonstrate the dramatic growth of syndicalist and autonomist formations and their currency and necessity to establish genuine worker organizations. Each chapter reveals that workers seek to form and join democratic and independent unions that are fundamentally opposed to bureaucratic leadership, compromise, and concessions: the sine qua non of traditional unions throughout the world.

NEED FOR VOLUME

This innovative volume draws attention to the vital, yet neglected sphere of new democratic labor movements and organizations. It intervenes in a theoretical and practical field where attention has been overwhelmingly and unduly focused on revitalizing the current state of conventional labor unions. Earlier publications in the field of industrial relations have had a strong leadership, however, we deem them to be of minor significance these days, given the crisis of traditional unions due to their inability to reform to the dictates of neoliberal capitalism.

BOOK STRUCTURE

0. Introduction

I. Renewed Forms of Struggle by Rank and File Unions

II. Workers self organization beyond and against corporative unions

III. Non-corporate unionism

- due date for authors: Feb 1, 2014

- manuscript submission to publisher April 15, 2014

Potential authors interested in contributing a paper please send an e-mail to dario/at/azzellini.net and michael.kraft/at/gmx.at for further information.

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