Special Issue of the journal Social Movement Studies: New insights into global labour: movement strategy and mobilisation in the context of crisis

Call for Papers, deadline 1 June2024

Decades of crises — economic, the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic — have placed the labour movement in a precarious situation and delivered novel and new challenges. In almost all locations, trade unions face decreasing membership numbers, weakening bargaining powers, and declining political influence. Proposed revitalisation strategies in this period have ranged from using tactics more commonly associated with social movements such as street protests, cooperating with social movements, engaging more young and migrant workers in innovative ways, and more frequently using information and communication technologies in organising and mobilising activities.

This special issue would like to go beyond discussions of “old” and “new” movements, popular during the 1990s, and instead emphasise the usefulness of using social movement and collective action theories for analysing the development, strategies, and consequences of labour movements — in short, to bring the labour movement back to social movements studies. This approach would allow us to move our understanding of social and labour movements beyond present knowledge and improve our theoretical and conceptual tools.

We welcome theoretically informed empirical analysis and encourage the use of comparative and innovative methods, unique empirical material, and historical and contemporary cases worldwide. Potentially exciting topics could be related, but are certainly not limited, to:

• Labour movements’ coalition building and protest strategies concerning migration.

• First Nations workers movements / First Nations workers in movements.

• Efforts to address climate adaptation and environmental issues.

• Organising through the pandemic.

• Organising in the context of rising populist and radical right parties,

• Gig workers and the platform economy.

• Biographical, economic, and political consequences of labour activism.

To propose papers, please send the 500-word abstract for the 1st of June 2024. The accepted proposals will be notified by the 1st of July 2024, and finalised manuscripts will be due on the 1st of October 2024. All abstracts and inquiries should be sent to: Katrin.Uba@statsvet.uu.se

Please be advised an invitation to submit is no guarantee of publication. All submissions need to follow the guidelines of the SMS and will go through the regular peer review process. Please be advised that authors not meeting the relevant deadlines may be dropped from consideration in the special issue, as everyone is affected by long delays of any individual abstract.