Large parts of the western working class now seem to gather around right-wing populists, demagogues and racists. They vote for reactionary and fascistoid political parties. They helped to vote the UK out of the EU, to make Trump president of the world's superpower number one, and they vote so massively for the far right political parties so that they have government power in sight throughout several of Europe's most populous countries. In this guest post, Asbjørn Wahl assesses these developments from a labour perspective and reflects on a progress way forward.
Friday, 17 March 2017
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
|Photo by Wolf Gang|
Thursday, 9 February 2017
Employability is a powerful and increasingly dominant word within the universities. Nottingham University is proud to be “ranked in the world top 100 Universities for employability”. This is because students are now the main funder of universities. And employability provides the answer to why the £9.250 tuition fees per year are worth it – even if one needs to in-debt oneself for this investment. Consequently, employability services are not only spreading like wildfire but also academic staff is increasingly pressurised to demonstrate in what ways their course facilitates students' employability. For these employability educators the Precarious Workers Brigade just published a book called “Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education” (a free pdf is available online). The book offers a “critical resource pack to assist teachers and students in deconstructing dominant narratives around work, employability and careers, and explores alternative ways of engaging with work and the economy”. In this guest post Vera Weghmann introduces the book by explaining what employability is and why it needs to be politicised.
Thursday, 5 January 2017
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.
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.