CFP: ILWCH special issue

Call for Papers

International Labor and Working-Class History (ILWCH), a semiannual journal published by Cambridge University Press, is currently soliciting papers for an upcoming special issue on "Globalism: The Regional Experience." A more detailed description of the proposed theme follows.

Prospective authors should send an abstract of no more than 500 words of work they wish to submit to the journal, along with a cover letter describing how the work fits into the proposed theme. Allwork must be previously unpublished. Editors will decide quickly whether they wish to review the full manuscript; authors of these will be sent style and submission guidelines. Please send correspondence to Chad Alan Goldberg, Managing Editor, ILWCH, Center for Studies of Social Change, New School for Social Research, 80 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10011 USA; or e-mail to

Globalism: The Regional Experience

At least since the Asian crisis, the collapse of the ruble and reform in Russia, and the intensifying protests at IMF/World Bank meetings since Seattle, globalization is a hotly debated issue. Even though the term was rarely used before the early nineties, everyone nowadays seems to know what it means and whether one should be in favor of or against it.

No wonder. Globalization has aspired to become the new grand narrative of the community of states after the Cold War, after the "end of history" and after the death of the classical grand narratives. While these classical narratives were anchored in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century struggle for the socio-political and constitutional nature of the emerging nation states, globalization is a notion that seems to order and focus our experience and politics after the nation-state. Even though republicans, social democrats, liberals and technocrats have coined a variety of meanings and historical explanations, they agree that globalization is closely linked to the decline of the welfare state since the seventies, the implosion of the Soviet Bloc since 1989, and the rapidly increasing transnational flows of people, goods, information, and capital since the eighties and nineties. Globalization, even though it must be an essentially contested concept, orders our experience after the fall of both the Berlin Wall and Bretton Woods.

The hot debate that surrounds the issue presently has, as always, a radical and a reformist version. In the radical debate, various sorts of territorialism are opposed to globalism (from ethnic or national to anarchist utopian). Reformists, on the other hand, increasingly criticize the particular understandings that the core Western powers and the new dominant world institutions such as the IMF and World Bank have promoted and the policies that they have informed. Reformists highlight the neo-liberal origins of the current globalization paradigm, and the speculative-cum-imperialist interests behind the globalization designs of the major world-actors. The reformist debate also crucially links up with the efforts of western social democrats in power to shape and sell a Third Way program that has for all practical purposes abandoned the focus on social justice. It is also vital for the discussion on the architecture of the EU and other regional blocs or cooperative multilateral networks in the South or the East.

We are proposing a special issue of International Labor and Working-Class History that can help to deepen this reformist debate by studying and comparing the regional experience with globalization. We are soliciting contributions that deal with regions such as Latin America, Australasia, Eastern Europe and East Asia, comprising both rich countries as well as the emerging markets middle-income countries on which current globalization policies by international institutions are focused. We are especially interested in contributions on east or southeast Asia and Southern Africa.

Such contributions should study at least three basic issues and see how current globalism has impinged on them: 1) regional economic growth over time; 2) indicators for social (in)equality and their causes and consequences; 3) the particular fit or misfit between such (self)imposed policies and the particular (historical) class structures, social relations, spatial relations, relations of dependence/core-periphery, etc. that have characterized these regions. Contributions should at least be implicitly comparative and should situate current trends or events in the longer term (19th.-20th. century) history of the region.

They should also study the region as part of a larger evolving world-system. Finally, we would like to discuss alternatives for current globalist policies and see how such alternatives can 1) more constructively respond to regional historical structures and their particular developmental needs; and 2) be implemented by existing or emergent regional (supra-state/ multilateral/ public) institutions such as development banks, cooperative agreements, urban networks etc.

International Labor and Working-Class History
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New York, New York 10011 USA
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212-229-5929 fax

Posted: 27 November 2000