CfP: Labour Conflicts and Development in the Global South

Call for papers, deadline 15 March 2019

International Workshop at the University of Nottingham, UK; 25 and 26 June 2019


Against the background of the global economic crisis since 2007/2008 and increasing inequality across the world, we have experienced widespread, large-scale industrial action throughout the Global South, including in countries such as China, Brazil, India and South Africa, which had been hailed as the new growth engines of the global political economy as part of the so-called BRICS. With the exception of China and South Africa, recent protest research has focused on street demonstrations (such as in Brazil, Turkey, India, Hong Kong and South Korea), but labour conflicts have been neglected.

This workshop will systematically evaluate how the new forms of labour mobilisation witnessed in the past ten years responded to the predominance of the informality-precarity complex of industrial relations and what conclusions can be drawn for potentially successful strategies against exploitation in the future. Can we identify a convergence of new approaches across the Global South, or do we witness an ongoing fragmentation of actors, models and strategies? 

This international workshop will bring together scholars in the area of labour movements and transnational solidarity in order to chart novel ground for our understanding of these moments of resistance, the strategies employed and the reasons for success or failure.

We are especially interested in papers in the following areas:

  • conceptual and empirical discussions of different mobilisation strategies;
  • empirical case studies of individual moments of labour conflict;
  • analyses of attempts at forging solidarity across different geographical levels;
  • investigations of co-operation between novel forms of organisation and more traditional trade union structures.

The best contributions to the workshop will be published in a special journal issue and/or edited volume.

The following two colleagues have already been secured as keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Pun Ngai, University of Hong Kong;
  • Prof. Edward Webster, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg/South Africa.

Paper proposals should be sent to and with an abstract of 150 words by March 15, 2019.

Attending the workshop is free of charge. Coffee/tea breaks, two lunches and one dinner are provided, but participants need to cover their own travel and accommodation.

Attached document(s):