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.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Betraying Europe and the danger of collapsing integration.

Photo by Wolf Gang
Brexit demonstrated clearly what many had perceived to be impossible: European integration is reversible. The potential breakup of the European Union (EU) has been welcomed by people on the political right as well as some on the left. While the former hail the return of national sovereignty, the latter often perceive Brexit as an important blow to neo-liberal, austerity Europe. In this blog post, I will critically assess these claims and highlight the dangers implicit in current developments. What many opponents overlook is the historical achievement of the EU to overcome long-standing, historical tensions and rivalries between different countries, which had resulted in two brutal world wars in the first half of the 20th century. Why is it, that European integration, which had been so popular amongst the involved peoples in the 1950s and 1960s, has lost so much attraction now in the 21st century?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability & Reclaiming Education.

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.