CfP: Global and Regional Trade Unions and the Future of Work

Call for papers, deadline 30 September 2019

We (Michele Ford, Michael Gillan and Dimitris Stevis) are organizing a session on Global and Regional Trade Unions and the Future of Work (description below) at the International Sociological Association Global Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil July 14-18, 2020. Host committee RC-44.

Paper Proposals accepted until September 30, 2019.

Debate on the ‘future of work’ is ubiquitous but such discourses are also in large measure a debate over policy settings and regulatory institutions. Many policy challenges or domains for labour regulation – environmental protection and the impacts of climate change, precarious and platform based work, labour migration, the governance of global value chains, gender based violence at work – transcend national boundaries and involve regional and global policy networks, public campaigns, and social or labour mobilisation. Emerging forms of regulation also are characterised by a complex interaction between public and private regulatory mechanisms and the power, interests and agendas of state, business, trade unions, and other societal organisations. The supranational character of policy debates and regulatory initiatives means that there is potential for global and/or regional trade union organisations to seek to drive or shape them. Yet their resources, strategies, organisational logics and actual impacts on policy and regulation remain understudied. This session proposes to advance our knowledge of the policy and regulatory agendas, and the organisational logics and structural conditions that shape the global and regional trade unions that engage with them. Paper submissions might address questions such as:
• What are the impacts of global/regional trade union campaigns on policy debates and regulation across various geographic scales (national, regional and/or global)?
• Do global or regional trade unions merely seek to influence existing policy debates and regulatory institutions or do they play an agenda-setting role?
• Is there anything distinctive about the organisational position of global or regional trade union organizations that informs their approach and impact on policy and regulation?
• What impact do global/regional trade unions have in specific policy and regulatory domains like labour migration, environment, gender at work, precarious and platform based work, or the governance of global production networks?
• What is their relationship with global business and civil society organizations who are also engaged in trying to influence global regulation in the same areas?
• What is their relationship with international organisations engaged in relevant policy and regulatory domains, for example, the ILO and other UN agencies or regional trade or other supranational authorities?

Organizers: (please contact us for more information)

Michele Ford, University of Sydney - [at]
Michael Gillan, University of Western Australia - michael.gillan [at]
Dimitris Stevis, Colorado State University – dimitris.stevis [at]