In 2011, analysing new and ever more widely spread practices of informal work Guy Standing made his important intervention announcing the emergence of the precariat as a new class-in-the-making (see The Precariat – a new class agent for transformation?). In this guest post, Florian Butollo critically engages with Standing’s claim through an examination of social movements in Portugal between 2011 and 2013. He demonstrates that provided we have a broader and more political understanding of class, these movements can still be understood in class terms, providing us with a better way of thinking about the possibilities of collective resistance against exploitation.
Thursday, 5 January 2017
Sunday, 18 December 2016
The notion of uneven and combined development (U&CD), introduced by Leon Trotsky in his assessment of the Russian political economy and the possibilities of transformation toward communism in the early 20th century, has gained increasing attention within International Relations. In this blog post, I want to engage critically with the recent book How The West Came To Rule (Pluto Press, 2015) by Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu, which draws extensively on U&CD in its analysis of the emergence and spread of capitalism.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
With Brexit on the horizon, the UK is currently in search for alternative trade agreements, not only with European countries, but also other economies around the world. The emerging market of China plays a key role in this strategy. In this blog post, I will assess the potential and implications of future UK – China relations.
|Photo by Sergeant Paul Shaw LBIPP/MOD|
Sunday, 13 November 2016
Despite the ongoing ramifications of the global economic crisis of 2007/2008, capitalism continues to reap super profits. In his fascinating book Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation and Capitalism’s Final Crisis (Monthly Review Press, 2016) John Smith unravels the underlying dynamics of global capitalism. By tracing the production of the T-shirt, the cup of coffee, and the iPhone, he demonstrates how these generate the transfer of enormous surplus value from countries in the Global South to transnational corporations in the North. In this blog post, I will outline several of the key contributions of this book and offer a number of critical reflections.
Thursday, 20 October 2016
With precarious forms of work increasingly also emerging within the core of industrialised countries in the global economy, the issue of how to organise migrant workers has become an ever more pressing concern. In his talk at Nottingham University on Tuesday, 17 October, Aziz Choudry reported on related challenges, drawing on two of his recently co-edited books, Unfree Labour? Struggles of Migrant and Immigrant Workers in Canada (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2016), together with Adrian Smith, and Just Work? Migrant Workers’ Struggles Today (London: Pluto Press, 2015), together with Mondli Hlatshwayo. In this blog post, I will draw out a couple of key insights resulting from Choudry’s analysis of a large range of different forms of migrant labour organising.
Thursday, 13 October 2016
As a first step, the Futures Commission has now published the booklet Challenging Corporate Capital: Creating an Alternative to Neo-liberalism. It includes proposals for labour and tax justice, a fair trade regime, a democracy-driven, public sector transformation as well as a response to the climate crisis. In this blog post, I will provide brief overviews of the contributions as well as links to the larger versions of the papers, freely available on the website of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Johannesburg/South Africa.
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Inequality in Britain is on the rise. Deteriorating employment conditions and low wages are one of the main reasons. In this post, I will report on the LivingWage/Anti-casualisation campaign at Nottingham University, demanding a living wage and secure employment for all employees at the university. The campaign group consists of a broad alliance of the three trade unions on campus, Unison, Unite and UCU, together with Nottingham Citizens as well as the Labour Students society, UoN Feminists, Socialist Students, the Young Greens, the Left Society and the Palestinian Society.