CfP: New Global Studies Special Issue on Global Labor and Supply Chains

Call for papers, deadline 1 November 2020

Robert Ovetz

Jake Alimahomed-Wilson

We are currently accepting manuscript submissions for a special issue of New Global Studies on Global Labor and Supply Chains to be published in late 2021 or early 2022. To learn more about New Global Studies visit

Global worker organizing has been surging since the start of the pandemic (Workers Inquiry Network 2020; Moody 2020; 2020). This surge demonstrates an emerging recomposition of the global working class as precarious care and service workers increasingly self-organize, unionize and take increasingly disruptive action in strategically critical sectors and junctions of national and global economy (Silver 2003; Ness 2014; Atzeni & Ness 2018; Azzellini & Kraft 2018; Ovetz, 2020). Such actions have taken place along various locations of the global supply chain not by accident but because workers and unions have become increasingly strategic in using tactics that disrupt various choke points along the global supply chain in order to apply leverage to extract concessions and other gains. In the past few years we have seen the release of increasingly important studies and analyses of the vulnerabilities of global supply chains to such worker organizing and direct action (Bonacich 2003; Bonacich & Wilson 2008; Moody 2017 and 2020; Ness & Alimahomed-Wilson 2018). This special issue would continue this work by publishing scholarly works on the tactics, strategies, organizational forms, and objectives of worker organizing and the impact on global supply chains. Among the topics we especially interested in for proposed articles include:

  • new forms of worker organizing
  • tactics and strategies of global worker organizing
  • global organization and vulnerabilities of national and global labor and goods supply chains
  • community and worker resistance to global logistics corporations such as Amazon, Apple, UPS, Maersk, and other shipping, transport, and logistics companies
  • how supply chains and multinational corporations are adapting to the new forms of worker organizing and disruption
  • immigrant and migrant worker organizing
  • intersections of racism, labor exploitation, and worker of color led labor organizing and resistance
  • organizing precarious workers
  • wildcat strikes during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • workers’ inquiries of supply chain workers

We encourage comparative analyses and multi-disciplinary collaborations between scholars, worker-organizers, and union staff. Please submit your proposed abstract by November 1, 2020 to both Robert and Jake at and Proposed abstracts should be no more than 200 words and include an additional short biography. If your proposal is accepted you will be asked to submit your complete manuscript by July 1, 2021 of no more than 8,000 words. We welcome academic articles, workers’ inquiries, review essays, interviews, photo essays, and commentaries.

About the Special Issue Editors
Robert Ovetz

Robert Ovetz is a lecturer in Political Science and Public Administration and writes about the politics of the labor movement, work, and the crisis of capitalism at the turn of the 20th century.

Robert’s first book is When workers shot back: Class conflict from 1877 to 1921 (Brill 2018 and Haymarket 2019). He is the editor of the forthcoming Workers’ inquiry and global class struggle: Strategy, tactics, objectives (forthcoming Pluto, October 2020). Robert does research on strike threats in the US. His writings have also been published in three books in four languages. He is an Associate Editor with the Journal of Labor and Society.

Jake Alimahomed-Wilson

Jake Alimahomed-Wilson is Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. His research focuses on race, gender, labor, logistics, and global workers’ struggles. He is the co-editor (with Ellen Reese) of The cost of free shipping: Amazon in the global economy (Pluto Press, 2020) and co-editor (with Immanuel Ness) of Choke points: Logistics workers disrupting the global supply chain (Pluto Press, 2018). He is the author of Solidarity forever? Race, gender, and unionism in the ports of Southern California (Lexington Books, 2016) and co-author (with Edna Bonacich) of Getting the goods: Ports, labor, and the logistics revolution (Cornell University Press, 2008).

Alimahomed-Wilson, J. & Reese, E. (Eds.). (2020). The cost of free shipping: Amazon in the global economy. UK: Pluto Press.
Atzeni, M. and Ness, I. (Eds.). (2018). Global perspectives on workers'
and labour organizations, Singapore: Springer.
Azzellini, D., & Kraft, M.G. (Eds.) (2018). The class strikes back: Self-organised workers’ struggles in the twenty-first century. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.
Bonacich, E. (2003, Summer). Pulling the plug: Labor and the global supply chain. New Labor Forum, 12(2), 41-48.
Bonacich, E., & Wilson, J. (2008). Getting the goods: Ports, labor, and the logistics revolution, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Dutta, M., Nowak, J., &Birke, P. (Eds.). (2018). Workers’ movements and strikes in the twenty-first century: A global perspective. London, England: Rowman & Littlefield International.
Moody, K. (2017). On new terrain: How capital is reshaping the battleground of class war, Chicago, Ill.: Haymarket.
Moody, K. (2020). Trade Routes, Transmission, and International Solidarity, April 8. Spectre Journal, Ness, I. (2014). New forms of worker organization: The syndicalist and autonomist restoration of class struggle unionism, Oakland, CA: PM Press.
Ness, I., & Alimahomed-Wilson, J. (Eds.). (2018). Choke points: Logistics workers disrupting the global supply chain, London, England: Pluto Press.
Ovetz, R., editor, Workers’ Inquiry and Global Class Struggle: Strategies, Tactics, Objectives of the Global Working Class, UK: Pluto Press, forthcoming October 2020.
Silver, B. (2003). Forces of labor: Workers' movements and globalization since 1870. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Workers Inquiry Network. (2020). Struggle in a Pandemic: A Collection of Contributions on the COVID-19 Crisis, ebook, May 2020. Also published as Des luttes dans la pandemie,