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, 29 November 2012

Firenze 10+10 – Reflections on the Left in Europe

From 8 to 11 November 2012, I attended the Firenze 10+10 meeting of European anti – neo-liberal globalisation movements in Florence/Italy. Florence had partly also been chosen as the location for this meeting in memory of the remarkable first European Social Forum held in that city in November 2002. In this post, I will reflect on the achievements of Firenze 10+10 and analyse the situation of the European Left more generally.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Portugal – When ‘good students’ turn sour

Portugal has been struggling with austerity, imposed by the Troika of EU Commission, European Central Bank and IMF. Higher Education (HE) has been badly affected similarly to the other areas of the Portuguese public sector. In this guest post, Mark Bergfeld reports from his experience in Lisbon last week of how students and members of staff mobilised against cuts in HE as part of the November 14 general strike. He concludes that while the current crisis is challenging, it nonetheless provides opportunities for students and members of staff to strengthen their joint resistance against austerity. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Greek Left and the Rise of the Neo-Fascist Golden Dawn

The imposition of austerity on Greece by the troika of EU, European Central Bank and IMF has resulted in enormous social hardship and societal conflict. The rise of the fascist party Golden Dawn in Greece is one of the most worrying phenomena in this respect. In this guest post, the Greek social scientist Panagiotis Sotiris looks at the underlying causes of the party's increasing popularity and discusses the challenges for the Greek left in resisting and combating fascism.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Reflections on a progressive research strategy on European labour

On Tuesday, 6 November I participated in a workshop on the ‘Future of Trade Unions and Unions Research’ in Berlin, organised by the Hans Böckler Stiftung and the Wirtschafts- and Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI). The purpose of the workshop was to try to envisage the role of unions in past, present and future research on Europe’s political economy writ large. In this post, I will reflect on what key aspects of an innovative research project on the future of European trade unions could look like. In more detail, I will identify three key aspects: (1) the importance of conceptualising the implications of the changing social relations of production; (2) the potential role of trade unions beyond the workplace; and (3) the necessity to learn from the Global South.

Monday, 5 November 2012

European Citizens’ Initiative on Water and the alternative to Austerity Europe

In this guest post, written on request, Jan Willem Goudriaan, Deputy General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), explains how the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) on the Human Right to Water is part of a broader struggle for change and alternatives to the current policies of the European Commission and most governments.