Forces of labor - Beverly J Silver

Militant: UK auto workers on strike
Militant: UK auto workers on strike

Recasting labor studies in a long-term and global framework, the book draws on a major new database on world labor unrest to show how local labor movements have been related to world-scale political, economic, and social processes since the late nineteenth century.

Submitted by Anonymous on April 3, 2012

Through an in-depth empirical analysis of select global industries, the book demonstrates how the main locations of labor unrest have shifted from country to country together with shifts in the geographical location of production. It shows how the main sites of labor unrest have shifted over time together with the rise or decline of new leading sectors of capitalist development and demonstrates that labor movements have been deeply embedded (as both cause and effect) in world political dynamics. Over the history of the modern labor movement, the book isolates what is truly novel about the contemporary global crisis of labor movements. Arguing against the view that this is a terminal crisis, the book concludes by exploring the likely forms that emergent labor movements will take in the twenty-first century.

Comments

Hieronymous

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Hieronymous on April 3, 2012

I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Juan Conatz

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on April 4, 2012

Uh, is there some way to turn the pages in the document around? Otherwise it is of no use and in my opinion, this article should be deleted.

Joseph Kay

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on April 4, 2012

In adobe reader you can just rotate clockwise. If anyone has nitro or something and can rotate it permanently and re-upload, that'd be great though.

Steven.

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on April 4, 2012

Hieronymous

I can't recommend this book highly enough.

ditto!

Joseph Kay

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on April 4, 2012

Steven.

Hieronymous

I can't recommend this book highly enough.

ditto!

There's a book new out which I really want to read called 'Workers, State and Development in Brazil: Powers of Labour, Chains of Value'. Unfortunately it's from an academic publisher and costs a fortune, so I'll have to find it in a library. It takes a very similar approach to Silver, focussing on the structural and associational power of workers as a factor in development. The author is in the SWP, but takes an approach critical of both market-led (neoliberal) orthodoxy and state-led (Ha-Joon Chang, Robert Wade etc) heterodoxy in favour of a class struggle perspective on development. There's a short article summarising the book here.

Selwyn

For these advocates either state allocation and generation of resources or market-efficiency generates a growing pot of social wealth
which trickles down, at some indeterminate point in the future, to the labouring population. Advocates of these approaches often support labour-repressive measures (ranging from opposition to minimum wages and worker welfare to support for dictatorial regimes that outlaw trade unions, raise the rate of exploitation and repress labour) as a means to kickstart the ‘development’ process of capital accumulation.

From these perspectives capital and the state come first and receive political priority, and labour comes a distinct second, if at all.

Within development studies, such perspectives have become so normalised that there is rarely any comment on how they rest on a fundamental contradiction: Whilst development practitioners aim to improve the lot of the poor, such labour-repressing measures actually worsen their conditions for a considerable period of time and offer no guarantee when (or if) they will improve.

Chilli Sauce

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on April 4, 2012

Steven.

Hieronymous

I can't recommend this book highly enough.

ditto!

Ditto!

Felix Frost

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Felix Frost on April 4, 2012

Joseph Kay

In adobe reader you can just rotate clockwise. If anyone has nitro or something and can rotate it permanently and re-upload, that'd be great though.

I've done this now. Should be in the moderation que.

Joseph Kay

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on April 4, 2012

Cheers Felix!