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Daily Archives: January 14th, 2012

Global Power

THE GLOBAL EMANICIPATION OF LABOUR

Call for Papers: Volume 4 Issue 2 of Interface: A Journal for and about social movements 

Special Issue Theme: For the global emancipation of labour: new movements and struggles around work, workers and precarity

Special issue editors: Elizabeth Humphrys, Peter Waterman, Alice Mattoni, Ana Margarida Esteves

See: http://www.interfacejournal.net/2011/06/call-for-papers-volume-4-issue-2-for-the-global-emancipation-of-labour-new-movements-and-struggles-around-work-workers-and-precarity/

Once, the labour movement was seen as the international social movement for the left (and it was the spectre haunting capitalism). Over the last century, however, labour movements have been transformed. In most of the world membership rates have dwindled, and many act in defence of, or simply provide services to, their members in the spirit of interest or lobbying groups. Labour was once a broad social movement including cooperatives, socialist parties, women’s and youth wings, press and publications, cultural production and sporting clubs. Often it was at the core of movements for democracy or national independence, even of social revolution. Despite the rhetoric of ‘socialism’, ‘class and mass trade unionism’ or, alternatively, technocratic ‘organising strategies’, most union movements internationally operate strictly within the parameters of capitalism and the ideology of ‘social partnership’ (i.e. with and under capital and state).

New labour organising efforts are increasingly moving beyond traditional trade union forms, dependence on the state or parties of the left, and have found new forms linked to ethnic or geographical communities, working women, precarious workers, migrants and other radical-democratic social movements.

These changes may relate to the neoliberalisation and ‘globalization’ of capitalism, and its result in restructured industry and employment. They may also relate to the consequent disorientation of the left. Transformations at the political and economic level have not, however, meant the disappearance of labour movement. Multiple new expressions of labour discontent arise from the bases and the margins of the world of work.

New forms of organising and/or a revival?

Firstly, from the bases we find movements of workers, often in alliance with local communities or other social movements. They are to be found not only in advanced industrial and postindustrial economies, but also — more dramatically — at the capitalist periphery. Labour movements were important in the recent Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. In the world’s second biggest economy, China, labour has been flexing its muscles in the most repressive and difficult of circumstances. Labour struggle has also begun to revive in the United States, and in the most dramatic fashion with the occupation of the legislature in Wisconsin.

Secondly, we see those who are situated at the margins of labour markets and who experience continuous uncertainty. Increasingly addressed as the ‘precariat’, this includes both high-skilled and low-skilled workers in the rich metropoles of the global North as well as in the slums and fields of the global South. The precarious are younger people, women and migrants, but increasingly those previously full-time workers whose rights and conditions are under attack due to the current economic crisis.

New and emergent movements are taking place at the local, national and transnational level, signaling the ongoing transformation of workers’ struggle all over the world. As capitalism reorganises, expands and reinvents, so too does resistance to its exploitation and subjugation. Some trade unions have encountered difficulty in working amongst workers who do not conform to the model of the full-time, male, family-wage-earning worker, and are seeking new ways of mobilizing and organising. This has been equally true amongst landless workers inBrazil, as with ‘undocumented’ or ‘excluded’ labour in California. Both at the bases and at the margins of the labour realms, women, men and youth are experimenting with radical new forms of struggle, new demands, new places / spaces of articulation, and perhaps re-discovering or re-inventing a global movement for ‘the emancipation of labour’.

Some places to start?

This issue of Interface: a journal for and about social movements seeks to reflect both this immense richness of experiences and the attempt to articulate what has been learnt in one place in ways that may be useful for activists elsewhere. We are looking for articles that tackle questions such as:

How are the geography and politics of labour struggles changing in the 21st century?

What use, and clarity, is there in the distinction between ‘old’ (labour) and ‘new’ social movements?

Is the historically central link with political parties and the state dead or can it be reinvented, and if so, how?

Have strategies such as ‘social movement unionism’, ‘community unionism’, ‘bio-syndicalism’, recognising precarity or movements organising informal workers been effective and how far? Where and to what extent are they successful?

What are the strengths and limits of labour organising among those for whom wage labour is only a part of their livelihood?

What are the relationships between trade unions on the one hand, and on the other hand solidarity economy movements, organisations working with precarious and unemployed workers, and identity- or community-based groups and the labour movement?

How are trade unionists engaging, or failing to engage, with the global justice and solidarity movement?

Are there new trade union or labour internationalism(s), and what form or forms demonstrate this?

What is the significance of information and communication technology (ICT), ‘knowledge workers’ and labour’s own cyberspace activities to such new worker movements?

We intend to explore such matters in this special issue of the new open-access, online, copyleft academic/activist journal, Interface: a Journal for and about Social Movements:  (http://www.interfacejournal.net/).

General submissions

Finally, as in all issues of Interface, we will accept submissions on topics that are not related to the special theme of the issue, but that emerge from or focus on movements around the world and the immense amount of knowledge that they generate. Such general submissions should contribute to the journal’s mission as a tool to help our movements learn from each other’s struggles, by developing analyses from specific movement processes and experiences that can be translated into a form useful for other movements.

In this context, we welcome contributions by movement participants and academics who are developing movement-relevant theory and research. Our goal is to include material that can be used in a range of ways by movements — in terms of its content, its language, its purpose and its form. We thus seek work in a range of different formats, such as conventional articles, review essays, facilitated discussions and interviews, action notes, teaching notes, key documents and analysis, book reviews — and beyond. Both activist and academic peers review research contributions, and other material is sympathetically edited by peers. The editorial process generally is geared towards assisting authors to find ways of expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across geographical, social and political distances.

We can accept material in Afrikaans, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Maltese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu. Please see our editorial contacts page for details of who to submit to.

Deadline and contact details

The deadline for initial submissions to this issue, to be published November 2012, is May 1 2012. For details of how to submit to Interface, please see the ‘Guidelines for contributors’. All manuscripts, whether on the special theme or other topics, should be sent to the appropriate regional editor. Submission templates are available online via the guidelines page.

 

Elizabeth Humphrys

Oceania &South-East AsiaEditor

lizhumphrys@me.com

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

SURVIVING ECONOMIC CRISES THROUGH EDUCATION – BY DAVID R. COLE

David R. Cole (ed.)

Surviving Economic Crises through Education

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2012. 288 pp.

Global Studies in Education. Vol. 11

General Editors: Michael Peters, Cameron McCarthy, Athlone C. (Tina) Besley and Fazal Rizvi

Print: ISBN 978-1-4331-1478-6 pb.

SFR 35.00 / €* 26.20 / €** 27.00 / € 24.50 / £ 22.00 / US$ 36.95

Order online: http://www.peterlang.com

This book comes at a time of increasing anxiety about the repercussions of financial instability and the probability of widespread market volatility. The educators and researchers whose work is collected here have considered these factors deeply when constructing their responses to prevailing financial conditions. These views guide the reader through economic crises as a mode of survival and as a means to deploying education at its most meaningful and intense. The approach aligns practice with theory and takes the empirical evidence from these studies as a means to determining the economic influence on education. This book will be a valuable asset for teachers and professors, as well as an excellent textbook for undergraduate and graduate classrooms.

Contents:

Stephen J. Ball: Foreword. Crisis and Attentiveness – David R. Cole: Introduction to Surviving Economic Crises through Education – Michael A. Peters: ‘Knowledge Economy’, Economic Crisis and Cognitive Capitalism: Public Education and the Promise of Open Science – Jim Crowther/Mae Shaw: Education for Resilience and Resistance in the ‘Big Society’ – Mike Cole: Capitalist Crisis and Fascism: Issues for Educational Practice – Gustavo E. Fischman/Victor H. Diaz: Teach for WhatAmerica? Beginning Teachers’ Reflections about Their Professional Choices and the Economic Crisis – Patrick Carmichael/Kate Litherland: Transversality and Innovation: Prospects for Technology-Enhanced Learning in Times of Crisis – Silvina Gvirtz/Ana Laura Barudi: When the Sun Does not Shine after the Rain: The Effects of the 2001 Crisis on the Education System of Argentina – Ana Inés Heras: Struggle for Agency in Contemporary Argentinean Schools – Silvia Grinberg/Eduardo Langer: Education and Governmentality in Degraded Urban Territories: From the Sedimented to the Experience of the Actual – David R. Cole: Doing Work as a Reflection of the Other: Notes on the Educational Materialism of Deleuze and Guattari – Robert Haworth/Abraham P. DeLeon: The Crisis of Mutative Capitalism: Holey Spaces, Creative Struggle and Educative Innovations – Torill Strand: The Current Dynamics of Professional Expertise: The Movable Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of Four Norwegian Professions – R. Scott Webster: Educating the Person for Democratic Participation – Jason J. Wallin: Remachining Educational Desire: Bankrupting Freire’s Banking Model of Education in an Age of Schizo-Capitalism – Marcus Bussey: Afterword. When No Crisis Is the Real Crisis! The Endless Vertigo of Capitalist Education.

The Author:

David R. Cole received his PhD in education from the University ofWarwick. He is an Associate Professor in English and pedagogy at the University of Western Sydney. David has edited three books (two with Darren Pullen) and has published a novel. His latest monograph is Educational Life-Forms: Deleuzian Teaching and Learning Practice.

Reviews:

“At last, we have a book that not only attempts to chart the crucial relationship between education and the crisis of economics, but one that explores critically and insightfully what that crisis may tell us about how to proceed in both opening up new understandings of pedagogy, education, politics, and charting a notion of hope that is as militant as it is realistic. We live at a crucial time, when the ethos of surviving has replaced the possibility of imagining a decent life and the promises of a real democracy. The discourse of surviving for the authors in this book does not suggest a retreat into cynicism or a life stripped of possibility. On the contrary, it suggests a new beginning, a new sense of struggle, and a new sense of hope. ‘Surviving Economic Crises through Education’ puts education back into politics, and in doing so puts politics back on a footing that makes individual and collective struggle possible again.” (Henry Giroux, Global Television Network Chair, English and Cultural Studies,McMasterUniversity)

“The recent huge hiccup of capitalism (‘global financial crisis’) and its continuing gurgles of pain have profound implications for education, teacher training, and the role of knowledge for human betterment (given that claims to knowledge and expertise were no protection from the cataclysm itself). This collection shows us why this is so, framing an imperative for rethinking education as a process of self-knowing and empowerment in a period of enormous economic and ontological insecurity. David R. Cole has brought together a significant set of theorists whose empirical evidence flows through to insights and indications of what is to be done. One hopes, as some of the authors propose, it is the very depth of the crisis that may force the shedding of the most deeply entrenched (mis)beliefs about education, enabling thereby a new if wobbly space for innovation and growth.” (Andrew Jakubowicz, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Institute of Cultural Diversity, University of Technology,Sydney)

“In times of economic crisis politicians often present their policies by claiming that ‘there is no alternative.’ This book unmasks such claims by providing critical readings of the politics of contemporary crisis talk and by presenting a range of generative educational responses that provide real alternatives for educational thought and action. This is a timely and inspiring collection that affirms the crucial role of education in the struggle for democracy in uncertain times.” (Gert Biesta, Professor of Education and Director of Research, School of Education & Laboratory for Educational Theory,Universityof Stirling)

“This book represents a kaleidoscope of views on the roles of education in a world rapidly changing since the 2008 financial crisis and the collapse of the Western world economies. Ideas mushroom from each chapter challenging the role of education in a capitalist society. A mustread for those from various disciplines who care about education.” (Arnaud Chevalier, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Royal Holloway,UniversityofLondon)

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

System of a Down

CHALLENGING CAPITALIST MODERNITY – ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTS AND THE KURDISH QUESTION

The organizers of the conference “Challenging Capitalist Modernity – Alternative Concepts and the Kurdish Question” are pleased to extend an invitation to all those interested in discussing theoretical and practical measures required to establish an alternative way of life. This conference should also prove of interest to all those who would like to be fully updated on the latest transformations within Kurdish society and its popular movement as well the alternative proposals put forward by the Kurds.

In recent years, the Kurdish freedom movement has developed and been transformed from the traditional Marxist-Leninist methods and perspectives that had underpinned its national liberation struggle. This conference aims to open up detailed discussion into the Kurdish movement and society’s transformation and its search for an alternative within the context of global developments and contemporary debates.

It also seeks to act as an international platform to exchange ideas at the academic level about the worldwide theoretical and practical measures that are needed to intervene effectively against capitalist hegemony. Debates will also – but not exclusively – be focused on the Kurdish example.

The conference will be held at Hamburg University, Germany from 3–5 February 2012. We plan to translate all the speeches and discussions simultaneously into English, German, Turkish and Kurdish (Kurmanji).

In order to register please send an email to networkaq@gmail.com . 
You can find further information and the conference programme at www.networkaq.net.
In order to support this conference or become a media partner, please write to networkaq@gmail.com 

In order to support this conference or become a media partner, please write to: networkaq@gmail.com

Supported by by Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (Movement against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples, France), Mouvement de la Paix (Peace Movement, France), LAIKA Verlag (publishing house)

Organized by the Network for an Alternative Quest: KURD-AKAD – Network of Kurdish Academics • YXK – Association of Students from Kurdistan • Kurdistan Report • Informationsstelle Kurdistan (ISKU) • Cenî – Kurdish Women’s Bureau for Peace • International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan–Peace in Kurdistan”

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub,Bangor, northWales)  

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic