On 9 October, I gave the paper ‘Sic Vos Non Vobis’ – ‘For You, But Not Yours’: The struggle for public water in Italy at the Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney . The paper is about the Italian Water Movements Forum (Forum), a broad alliance of trade unions, social movements, development NGOs and environmental groups, and its successful mobilisation for a referendum against the privatisation of water in June 2011 (see also Road to Victory). Trade unions and other social movements find it often difficult to co-operate due to their different histories and institutional structures, as argued in an article on the European Social Forum. In this blog post, I will analyse how the Italian Water Movements Forum was able to bring together such a wide range of different groups into a successful campaign.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Monday, 27 October 2014
European labour movements are under severe pressure as a result of the global financial and Eurozone crises, which have been used by capital to attack unions and workers’ rights. In our recently published essay in the Socialist Register 2015, Roland Erne and I assess the response of European labour movements to this attack and discuss to what extent relations of transnational solidarity have been established in this process. As Germany plays a central role in the European political economy, particular attention is placed on the role of German trade unions. In this blog post, we draw out some key points of our argument.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Public sector restructuring is generally justified with reference to the need to save money in view of large public debt resulting from the global financial crisis. In this post, I want to investigate this claim and unravel the real motivations behind current attacks on the public sector.
|National Demo against Sussex University Privatisation - Serena Cheung|
Friday, 26 September 2014
As part of the Workshop on Chinese Labour in the Global Economy, Paul Mason, the Economics Editor of Channel4News, gave a highly stimulating and thought provoking public lecture at Nottingham University on 12 September 2014. The focus of his talk ‘Digital rebels, analogue slaves? China’s workforce in the 21st century’ was on the information technology (IT) revolution and its implications for workers’ unrest in China. Provocatively, his main claim was that the main conflict is no longer between capital and labour, but between networks and hierarchies (see also Mason, Comment is free, 14/09/2014). In this blog post, I will critically evaluate this claim.
Monday, 22 September 2014
The work of Rosa Luxemburg has received renewed attention in recent years. To celebrate the centenary anniversary of her seminal book The Accumulation of Capital in 2013, a collective of colleagues from within the Marxism Reading Group of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) at Nottingham University has written the article ‘The Enduring Relevance of Rosa Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital’, which has now been published online by the Journal of International Relations and Development. In this blog post, I will present some of the key findings of the article.
Monday, 15 September 2014
The workshop on Chinese Labour in the Global Economy, concluding a large ESRC research grant project, was held on 11 and 12 September 2014 at Nottingham University, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Studies (CSSGJ) and the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Politics (CCCP). The purpose of the workshop was not only to understand better the situation in China, but also an aspiration of contributing to the improvement of workers’ conditions. Hence, both academics as well as activists had been invited. In this blog post, I will assess some of the key themes discussed during the workshop.
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press, 2014) has received widespread attention within academia, the media, amongst the Left and across the general public. His criticism of increasing inequality has made him an attractive read for everyone concerned about the devastating results of global capitalism. In this blog post, I will critically reflect on the implications of this attention for the Left.