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A book launch of Ben Selwyn’s ‘Workers, State and Development in North East Brazil: Powers of Labour, Chains of Value’ (Manchester University Press, 2012)

8 March 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, London
5:15 PM – 7:00 PM

Within the field of development studies, the importance of class relations is usually relegated to lesser status than the roles of states and markets in generating and allocating resources. This book argues that processes of class formation, struggle, and crucially, the changing balance of class forces between capital and labour constitute a key determinant of different patterns of capitalist development. Workers, state and development in Brazil illuminates these key issues in political economy through a detailed empirical investigation of the nexus between class dynamics and developmental processes and outcomes in North East Brazil’s São Francisco valley. It details how workers in the valley’s export grape sector have utilized their structural and associational power to win concessions from employers, contributing to a progressive pattern of regional capitalist development. Based on a stimulating engagement with and critique of World Systems Theory and the Global Commodity Chains approach, this book will be of wide-ranging interest to those interested in understanding how global dynamics impact on local development. It will appeal to students and researchers interested in processes of capitalist development, class formation and dynamics, North East Brazilian political economy and International Political Economy.

Ben Selwyn is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Development Studies in the Department of International Relations, University of Sussex

1. Global commodity chains, labour history and capitalist development.
2. Emergence of export grape production in North East Brazil.
3. Grape workers: structural power and associational power.
4. Women workers.
5. Managing labour.
6. Class compromise.
7. Conclusions.

234x156mm 256pp
HB 978-0-7190-8531-4 £65.00
4 line illustrations, 1 map, 19 tables

Manchester University Press
Oxford Road
ManchesterM13 9NR


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Chamada para artigos

Tensões Mundiais é uma revista acadêmica multidisciplinar publicada semestralmente pelo Observatório das Nacionalidades, grupo de pesquisa situado na Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brasil. Aceitamos contribuições originais que tratem dos processos de formação nacional, incluindo, mas não limitadas aos temas das relações internacionais, cultura, instrumentos de força do Estado, e às políticas externa e de defesa nacional. Os artigos podem ser submetidos em inglês, português e espanhol. Para maiores informações ver: ou contatar os editores em ou

Convocatoria: se solicitan artículos

Tensões Mundiais es una revista académica multidisciplinaria publicada semestralmente por el Observatorio de Nacionalidades, un grupo de investigación ubicado en la Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brasil. Aceptamos contribuciones originales que tratan de los procesos de formación nacional, incluyendo pero no limitadas a los temas de relaciones internacionales, cultura, instrumentos de fuerza del Estado, y las políticas en el exterior y de defensa nacional. Aceptamos artículos en inglés, portugués o español. Para mayor información ver: o contactarse con los editores en o

Call for journal contributions

Tensões Mundiais is a multidisciplinary academic journal published twice yearly by the Nationalities’ Observatory, a research group located at the Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil. We welcome original contributions centered on the processes of national formation, including but not limited to the issues of international relations, culture, state instruments of force, national defense and foreign policy. Articles can be submitted in English, Portuguese or Spanish. For further details see or contact the editors at or

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