Special issue on: "Labour conflict, forms of organization and class"
Call for papers
Internationally coordinated themed collection sponsored by
Global Labour Journal
Partecipazione e Conflitto
Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios del Trabajo
The Economic and Labour Relations Review
Maurizio Atzeni, Centre for Labour Relations, CEIL/CONICET, Argentina
Jenny Chan, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Devi Sacchetto, University of Padua, Italia
Conflict, collective action, and organization have been central themes in the field of labour studies and industrial relations, given their role in shaping the outcomes of capital labour regulations in the workplaces and at the social level. Recent research has opened the field empirically by looking at forms of worker self-organization based on networks of solidarity that have emerged parallel to or beyond the union form. Such research has looked at changes emerging in the platform economy (Tassinari and Maccarrone, 2020), in precarious contexts in the south of the world (Anner, 2018; Marinaro, 2018; Rizzo, 2017), and among migrants (Alberti and Però, 2018; Perrotta and Sacchetto, 2014; Chan, 2021). Parallel to these empirical studies, other publications have addressed more theoretical issues, inviting others to abandon the eurocentrism of industrial relations (Nowak, 2021); to rethink the forms of organization, going beyond the fetishism of the trade union form (Atzeni, 2021); and to reflect on the need to more explicitly set class domination as the normative dimension, henceforth orienting labour scholars who are aiming to produce knowledge ‘on the side of workers’ (Gallas, 2021).
We aim to broaden a field originally structured around the capital-labour antagonism in the confines of factories to new forms of conflict and organization that could be better understood in the wider framework of class analysis. Variously defined as ‘the multitude,’ ‘the precariat,’ ‘the subaltern,’ ‘the urban outcasts,’ or ‘the plebeians’ (who are composed in a variety of ways), class as a theoretical perspective has drawn the attention of critical social scientists.
The COVID-19 emergency has made evident that there are deep-seated class, race/ethnic, and gender divides in terms of access to work and quality of jobs among working people. It unveiled the conditions of insecurity, inequality, and precariousness suffered by many workers employed in activities essential to the functioning of urban and rural systems as a whole. Is the pandemic and the economic crisis creating conditions for the production of new forms of collective identification and organisation among the ‘essential workers’? Or, on the contrary, are we seeing further segmentation in job markets and workplaces as well as fragmentation of collective identities?
Internationally coordinated themed collection
In this proposed collection we aim to include papers exploring the different forms of workers’ conflict and organization, and their relation to emerging forms of collective solidarity. We welcome labour scholars of different disciplinary traditions. We are particularly interested in the following areas:
- how the intersections between the spheres of production and reproduction shape or are shaped by labour conflict;
- the labour process in economic circuits providing essential services, such as logistics, food processing, health, and care;
- the state in facilitating migration and proletarianization, labour legislation, and collective rights protections;
- the role of the social composition of the labour force (by gender, race, nationality, legal status) and of working-class culture and politics on the forms of workers’ organizations;
- formal/informal work and labour regimes in border areas, special economic zones, economic clusters, global commodity chains, and production circuits;
- welfare and social security policies and their role in supporting or managing labour conflict;
- new technologies and new forms of control and solidarity;
- workers’ structural power and working-class composition at choke points in logistic chains;
- intersections between the struggles of social movements and labour movements; and
- intersections between the spatiality of labour processes, accumulation models, and national politics in creating opportunities for workers’ mobilization.
Rationale for an internationally coordinated themed collection
Rather than a typical special issue, we see this call as a coordinated international collection to publish in four journals representing different regions, languages, and scholarly traditions:
Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios del Trabajo (http://alast.info/relet/index.php/relet/index)
Partecipazione e Conflitto (http://siba-ese.unisalento.it/index.php/paco,
Global Labour Journal (https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/globallabour)
Economic and Labour Relations Review ( https://journals.sagepub.com/home/elr)
In total we plan to include between 12 and 16 articles: Three or four articles will be published in each journal. One same editorial introduction will apply to the above four journals, with a summary of the main arguments, key findings and methodological issues of all the accepted articles in this themed collection (across four journals).
Each of the journal will publish the set of articles, along with the editorial introduction.
The journal will follow its own publication schedule. We envision that, in 2023, all four journals will publish the collection within a short time span of each other.
The articles should be made openly accessible. The articles will be written in English (three journals), Spanish and/or Portuguese (one journal). To facilitate cross-reading, the four journals are expected to refer to, and link up, the articles.
In building an international community of scholars, we are going to call for papers in the following two conferences:
- International Labour Process Conference (ILPC, www.ilpc.org.uk) in Padua, Italy, April 2022;
- Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios del Trabajo (ALAST, http://alast.info), in Santiago de Chile, July 2022.
We see these events as the foundation for the creation of an international community of scholars engaged in a class-oriented analysis of labour conflict and organization. We endeavour to meet with contributors (real or virtual depending on circumstances) to offer constructive feedback on papers submitted to the internationally coordinated themed collection.
Call for papers: August 2021
Abstracts (500 words): 30 November 2021
Selection of abstracts: 31 December 2021
Full papers (8,000 words, including notes and references): 31 July 2022
Final submission (to one of the four journals): 30 September 2022
Publication: 2023 (in accordance with the schedules of the four journals)
Selection of papers
Papers will be assessed using the peer review mechanisms normally implemented by each journal.
To effectively collaborate with journal editors and an international community of scholars, we set three stages of selection and evaluation preceding the formal evaluation: abstracts, peer discussion, and review of full papers at conferences (people not attending will receive feedback via email). We believe that this selection and evaluation can produce high quality submissions.
Guest editors will be responsible for the introduction (one editorial introduction that is applicable to four journals of 12-16 papers in total), the selection of papers as described above, the presentation of proposals to special streams at conferences and the coordination processes with journal editors.
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