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.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The First Social Conference in Europe: a move towards wider resistance?

On 10 and 11 March 2011, I attended the First Social Conference in Europe. Around 80 representatives of European trade unions and social movements met in Brussels to move towards joint activities of resistance against neo-liberal restructuring. While the two days were very fruitful in relation to an open exchange of positions and the formulation of joint draft papers, a draft declaration, and a press release, the groups present ultimately failed to adopt priorities for joint actions in the short- to medium-term.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Is there a future for trade unions in the UK?

In this University of Nottingham podcast, I look ahead to the planned TUC demonstration against cuts in the public sector on Saturday, 26 March 2011 and ask if the unions have a chance of forcing u-turns and driving resistance to neo-liberal restructuring in the UK.

Prof. Andreas Bieler
Professor of Political Economy
University of Nottingham/UK

Personal website:

21 March 2011

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Dangerous illusions in the top tier - Part2!

Despite the cut-backs in Higher Education in the UK, members of staff in top tier institutions feel fairly secure in their employment. Job losses as a result of a decline in student numbers will affect colleagues in Further Education institutions as well as Universities further down in the ranking order it is often thought. This may well turn out to be a dangerous illusion.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

A radical feminist vision of resistance and the struggle against budget cuts

The current attack on the welfare state in the UK by the ConDem government through its draconian budget cuts is unprecedented. No area of the public sector, be it Higher Education, the Health Service, be it local government services, will remain unaffected. And yet, resistance to these cuts has been mooted to date. Yes, there are various local alliances, forthcoming strikes and a large, trade union organised demonstration in London on 26 March. Wider support for these events is, however, not ensured. How can this be explained? Sara Motta in her latest blog entry ‘Beautiful Transgressions: A radical feminism for our times’ looks at this issue from a feminist perspective. She provides new insights as well as possible ways forward.

Saturday, 12 March 2011


Resistance against the attack on the public sector by the ConDem government is gathering pace. The Coalition of Resistance has been established to bring together trade unions, social movements and local user groups in their fight against the draconian budget cuts.