The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Transnational solidarity? The European working class in the Eurozone crisis.

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

The global financial crisis and service provision: The public sector in difficult times.

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

The new faultline between networks and hierarchies in China: Where is class struggle?

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 Enduring Relevance of Rosa Luxemburg

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

Chinese workers in the grip of global capitalism: What possibilities for resistance?

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

The importance of Piketty: What perspective from the Left?

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.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Unravelling Capitalist Globalization

Despite the prolonged global economic crisis since 2007/2008, neo-liberal economic thought and practice continue to reign supreme. In his important book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance and Alternatives (Monthly Review Press, 2013), Martin Hart-Landsberg makes a number of key interventions unravelling the myth of neo-liberalism as well as the dynamics underlying capitalist accumulation.