The working classes today are facing a new set of crises around increasing austerity, authoritarianism, exploitation, and surveillance. But in many places, and in many ways, they are resisting. From new forms of workplace organisation, migrant workers challenging their exploitation, struggles against digitalised work, and through alternative forms of grassroots mobilisation, working-class resistance is emerging in new and often unexpected spaces.
Through a range of cases in Europe and from around the world, this book brings radical voices from sociology, political economy, labour relations, and media studies to offer an understanding of the potential of working-class struggles in and against these ‘hard times’. This engaging volume is an attempt to understand how new, dynamic sites of resistance in and outside the workplace are central to the different ways in which workers survive, disrupt, and create new ways of living.
The perfect guide for students and academics looking for a critical and comprehensive collection dealing with contemporary and global cases of working-class resistance.
Introduction: Working-Class Resistance in Hard Times, Adam Fishwick and Heather Connolly
Resisting and Surviving Organised Politics: The Case of the London Housing Movement, Lisa Mckenzie
Contesting Austerity in Low Resistance Capitalist Contexts, Saori Shibata and David Bailey
Power of Labour and Logistics: Immigrant Struggles in Italy’s Logistics Industry, Rossana Cillo and Lucia Pradella
Resistance and Revolution: Working-Class Intransigence, The Libertarian Tradition, and the Catalan Crisis, Stuart Price
From Social Movement to Labour Protests: The Case of the Sans Papiers in France, Heather Connolly and Sylvie Contrepois
Beyond Water, Beyond Folk Politics? Lessons from Greece for an Irish Socialist Governmentality, Nicholas Kiersey
Worker Recuperated Enterprises: Confronting the Return of Austerity in Argentina? Adam Fishwick
E(a)ffective Precarity, Control and Resistance in the Digitalised Workplace, Phoebe Moore
Conclusion: Towards Connecting the Diversity of Working-Class Resistance, Adam Fishwick and Heather Connolly
About the Contributors
Austerity and Working-Class Resistance provides a fascinating and original account of the often denied practices of resistance, which at different spaces and times, within and outside Europe, have followed one of the most critical times of our modern history, including the economic, social, political and financial crises. It is also a riveting read, rich with fascinating human stories.
Austerity and Working-Class Resistance talks about the continuing relevance of a class perspective in understanding contemporary processes of opposition to neoliberal capitalism. The book does this without making an apology of class struggle but rather intending this as the ever-present condition of opposition to injustices, as a lived process of solidarity and collective organisation that can change the world.
Through the lens of survival, disruption and creation, this collection provides a novel contribution to studies of working class resistance to austerity across Europe and beyond. Drawing on and combining different strands of Marxism, this collection represents a worthy contribution to critiques of, and attempts to transcend, austerity.
This important new book is a major contribution to our understandings of working class resistance in the age of austerity. It captures both a wide range of political arguments about resistance and a diverse international terrain of struggles. Teachers, researchers and practitioners of working class resistance will learn a great deal from reading and debating the essays in this rich collection.
Austerity and Working-Class Resistance makes a significant contribution to our understanding of ongoing resistance against capitalist exploitation. Case studies including the London Housing Movement, the Sans Papier Movement in France and recuperated factories in Argentina provide an impressive view of the diversity of contestation. Resistance is not only important for survival and disrupting capitalist accumulation, but it also succeeds in creating new alternatives for a different future. This volume is essential reading for all those of us who remain ‘unreasonable’ and carry on challenging the status quo.
Putting working class resistance at the core, this excellent collection provides a glimpse of hope in barbaric times. Going beyond traditional trade unionism, the book understands resistance as surviving the hardships of austerity and precariousness, as disrupting political and economic institutions, and as creative practices building alternatives beyond the current order. The cutting-edge analyses of what may seem at first glance marginalised and disparate struggles in a climate of defeat and lethargic stupor are a token of concrete utopias, prefiguring that a better future is possible.
The contributions to this book offer a much-needed breath of fresh air to contemporary understandings of working-class resistance in the current era of austerity-driven politics. By connecting critical political economy, labour relations and social movement studies, the editors have managed to produce an essential collection with leading authors in each of their fields. Besides the impressive geographical scope of the collection, there is also an excellent plurality of approaches within the growing sphere of disruption and resistance studies.
Adam Fishwick is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies and Public Policy in the Department of Politics and Public Policy at De Montfort University.
Heather Connolly is an Associate Professor of Employment Relations in the School of Business at the University of Leicester.