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Model T Ford

FORDISM AND POST-FORDISM CONFERENCE

International Conference

Fordism and Post-Fordism: Cycles and transformations in contemporary society

New University of Lisbon, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences

10th and 11th February 2012

 

The development of capitalism throughout the 20th century has accelerated the pace of transformations in the field of production, with a far-reaching impact upon several domains of social activity: from school to work, from family ties to state institutions. The existence of economical cycles tied to the development of technical, political and social paradigms has therefore captured the attention of many researchers, who have categorized historical periods according to a series of axes: the predominant forms of relation between labour and capital, the industrial sectors that push economic growth and the technological innovations with the greatest impact on the productive process.

In this context, the term “Fordism” has been put forward to frame the historical period emerging in the first half of the 20th century and characterized by the massification of both production and consumption, highly developed processes of mechanization, rationalization and standardisation embodied in assembly lines, the central role of the automobile and petrochemical industries, sophisticated techniques of regulation of work conditions and growing state intervention in economic activities.

The term “Post-Fordism”, in turn, has been used to define the ensemble of transformations occurring, since the 1970’s, in spheres such as the organization of labour, the nature of state intervention and the 

technological paradigms applied to production. Different notions have emerged, aiming to characterize such transformations. “Neofordism”, “lean production”, “Toyotism”, “Late capitalism”, “Biopolitics” or, 

more recently, “Informationalism” and “finance-dominated accumulation regime” are some of them. The term “Post-Fordism”, however, has been widely accepted in specialized literature because it leaves room for the plasticity of a multidimensional process in permanent evolution.

This conference aims at questioning the logics and dynamics of both paradigms, the historical contexts of their emergence, the shifts they represented and the conflicts they shaped. It is open to researchers looking to present papers dealing with at least one of the following subjects:

–          Technology, Science and organization of labour;

–          State, regulation and economic planning;

–          Labour struggles, social conflict and resistance;

–          Culture, leisure and consumption.

 

These papers (Max. 10 pages/20 minutes) may address specific subjects (such as the introduction of Taylorism in a factory or industrial branch, the settings of a collective bargain, a plan to stabilize wages and prices or a strike, for example) or wider problems (like the characterization and interpretation of the paradigms themselves). Papers that address more than one of these subjects or the transition between both paradigms will be particularly welcomed.

Paper proposals must be sent to coloquio.fordismo@gmail.com and should include: title, abstract (Max. 300 words), study field, institutional affiliation and e-mail address.

The deadline for proposals is October 31st 2011.

The authors of the selected proposals shall not be notified until November 15th 2011, and invited to send the texts of their papers until December 31st 2011. The final program of the conference shall be made public in January 2012.

The conference’s official languages will be Portuguese and English.

Raquel Varela, Postdoctoral Research Fellow FCT, Instituto de História Contemporânea, Universidade Nova de Lisboa Study Group on Labor and Social Conflicts, Av. de Berna, nº 26 -C, 1069-061 Lisboa, + 351 21 794 09 21, Portugal. Honorary Fellow IISG (Amsterdam): http://www.iisg.nl/staff/rva.php and raquel_cardeira_varela@yahoo.co.uk

 

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World Crisis

SPRING & SUMMER EVENTS AT BOOKMARKS BOOKSHOP

From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia

With Jeff Webber

Tuesday 12 April, 6.30pm
Evo Morales rode to power on a wave of popular mobilisations against the neoliberal policies enforced by his predecessors. Yet many of his economic policies bare striking resemblance to the status quo he was meant to displace.
Based in part on dozens of interviews with leading Bolivian activists, Webber examines the contradictions of Morales’ first term in office.
Jeffery R. Webber teaches at the University of Regina in Canada. He has taught at several institutions in Canada, Europe, and Latin America, where he conducts field research. Webber is a member on the editorial boards of Historical Materialism, Latin American Perspectives, and New Socialist.
The event is free to attend, but please contact us to reserve your place: events@bookmarks.uk.com 020 7637 1848

Islamophobia and the Role of the Intellectual
With Hamid Dabashi & a speaker from Unite Against Fascism (UAF)
Monday 9 May, 6.30pm
Dabashi’s book ‘Brown Skin, White Masks’ picks up where Frantz Fanon left off. He extends Fanon’s insights as they apply to today’s world. Dabashi shows how intellectuals who migrate to the West are often used by the imperial powers to misrepresent their home countries. Just as many Iraqi exiles were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, Dabashi demonstrates that this is a common phenomenon, and examines why and how so many immigrant intellectuals help to sustain imperialism.
Hamid Dabashi is professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York and the author of 18 books and countless articles. His books include ‘Theology of Discontent’ (1993), ‘Iran: A People Interrupted’ (2007), ‘Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire’ (2008) and ‘Brown Skins, White Masks’ (2011)
Hamid Dabashi is on a short speaking tour of Europe. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear him, and ask questions, in the relaxed atmosphere of Bookmarks Bookshop.
The event is free to attend, but please contact us to reserve your place: events@bookmarks.uk.com 020 7637 1848

We Sell Our Time No More: Workers’ Struggles Against Lean Production in the British Car Industry
With Paul Stewart
Wednesday 11 May, 6.30pm
This is the story of struggles against management regimes in the car industry in Britain from the period after the Second World War until the contemporary regime of lean production.
Told from the viewpoint of the workers, the book chronicles how workers responded to a variety of management and union strategies, from piece rate working, through measured day work, and eventually to lean production beginning in the late 1980s.
Paul Stewart is Professor of the Sociology of Work and Employment at Strathclyde University. He has been researching and writing on the automotive industry for many years and was joint convenor of the Automotive Workers Research Network.
The event is free to attend, but please contact us to reserve your place: events@bookmarks.uk.com 020 7637 1848

Liberate Your Mind
Bookmarks Bookshop
1 Bloomsbury Street
London WC1B 3QE
020 7637 1848
http://www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk
http://twitter.com/bookmarks_books

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It's CrisisTime!

It's CrisisTime!

CRISIS WHAT CRISIS: FORWARD TO THE PAST?

 

 Critical Labour Studies: 6th Symposium 2009

Venue: The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Saturday 21st/Sunday 22nd November 2009

Statement of Intent
It is clear to researchers and activists, both in the trade union movement and universities, that global capitalism is increasingly shaping the worlds of work and employment. The imposition of this neo-liberal orthodoxy has many profound implications, not least that states seek to both de-legitimise workers’ opposition and marginalise their organisations. However, just as capitalism has embraced neo-liberal strategies, there has emerged a new politics of resistance that is varied and diverse, embracing: trade union and socialist organisations, green and ecological protest movements, anti-war activists, feminists, human rights campaigners and NGOs. It is against this background that the Critical Labour Studies (CLS) symposium has aimed to bring together researchers and activists to discuss key features of work and employment from a radical and labour-focused perspective. We recognise that while left academic researchers participate in the usual round of mainstream conferences, the scope for focused radical debate around these themes is actually quite limited. Through CLS we have developed an open working group and discussion forum that engages with many of the challenges facing researchers and trade unionists within the current environment of work and employment. By ‘labour’, we anticipate, in the traditions of radical researchers over the ages, a broad understanding of myriad social, economic and political agendas. To date, themes have included: race, identity and organising migrant workers, global unionism and organising internationally, the new politics of production, privatisation, outsourcing and offshoring. The list of themes and questions that concern us continues to develop over time, and the intention will be to reflect this evolving agenda at this year’s symposium. An ancillary objective is to engage in genuinely critical debate, rescuing this term from its co-option by mainstream agendas.

The Format of the Symposium
Building on the successes of the past five years, the forthcoming symposium will be structured as a series of plenary sessions. Each will be organised around a particular theme with speakers and discussants, followed by a broad discussion. It has been an important principle of CLS that the conference is not based on the convention of academic conferences with specific papers being presented in separate streams. Rather our intention has been to deepen discussion and debate, and to bring together researchers and labour/union movement activists (where possible) in joint sessions. All sessions are genuinely open and inclusive and involve a broad range of participants, from established academics to early-career researchers, and from established trade union officials to shop-floor representatives and grass-roots activists. The distinctive organising principles of CLS are, therefore, to assist unions and workers in dealing with the challenges faced in the neo-liberal world of work and employment. Ultimately, discussion of strategies and tactics are related to the broader aim of creating a socialist society.

*CLS PROGRAMME 2009*

VENUE: School of Oriental and African Studies
– Khalili Lecture Theater (KLT), University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

DATES: 21st and 22nd of November

Organisers: Demet Dinler, Jane Holgate and Miguel Martinez Lucio

Saturday 21st

8.30-9.30 Registration (with coffee and tea)

9.30 Welcome and introduction

First Session – Work Intensification and Lean Production

10.00 – 11.00

‘Is that Banana Active?’ Lean and Mean in the Civil Service
Speaker from PCS, Bob Carter (de Montfort University), Andy Danford (University of West of England), Debra Howcroft (University of Manchester), Helen Richardson (University of Salford), Andrew Smith (University of East of London), Phil Taylor (University of Strathclyde)

11.00-11.30 tea and coffee

11.30-12.30

Challenging lean production in the car industry. The politics of developing critical research agenda in and beyond the shop floor.
Steve Craig (UCATT), Ken Murphy (UNITE and Paul Stewart (Strathclyde University)

12.30-1.00

Prospects for a Critical Labour Psychology
Thomas Ryan (Northumbria University)

1.00-2.00 Lunch

Second Session – Labour Markets, Migration and Labour

2.00-2.45

The growth of living wage campaigns across university campuses

Clare Soloman – SOAS coordinator of the campaign; Jose Stalin Bermudez – shop steward; Demet Dinler – SOAS

2.45-3.30

Adapt or Decline – A Trade Union Future for Black Workers

Jane Holgate (Working Lives Institute) and Wilf Sullivan (TUC)

3.30- 4.00 tea and coffee

4.00-4.30

Racism, Nationalism and the Labour Movement in Northern Ireland: Racist bigots; they haven’t gone away you know

Independent Workers Union (IWU) address to CLS – Tommy McKearney IWU

4.30-5.30 Towards a Critical approach to Migration and Labour

Migration research: Why theory and methodology matters
Jutta Moehrke, Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau
Steve French, Centre for Industrial Relations, Keele University

Migration and the Politics of Research: Comparisons and Stereotypes
Heather Connolly and Miguel Martinez Lucio (University of Manchester)

Social 7pm onwards Rugby Tavern, 9 Great James St London, WC1N 3ES

Sunday 22nd

Third Session: Politics and Unions: Class and Organising

9.30 tea and coffee

10.00-11.00

Organising and Class
Mel Simms (Warwick) and Martin Smith GMB

11.00-12.00

Towards a Typology of Alternative Trade Union Futures in Western Europe
Martin Upchurch (Middlesex University), Andy Mathers (University of the West of England), Graham Taylor (University of the West of England)

12.-12.30

Time for a different model of public sector trade unionism
Roger Kline (UCU)
12.30-1.30 – Lunch

1.30 -2.30 – Open Discussion: CLS and Future Developments
_______

Join the Critical Labour Studies Email List

If you would like to be added to the CLS email list, please go to:
https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=CRITICAL-LABOUR-STUDIES

Check out our website: http://criticallabourstudies.org.uk/site/

Registration and Contact for the Conference

• The sessions will be held at the Khalili Lecture Theater (KLT) and registration is at the entrance of this lecture theatre in SOAS.
• The registration fee for the weekend is £60.00 (unwaged or low waged £40). This will include food, tea/coffee and Saturday evening’s entertainment.
• For further information contact Demet Dinler dd1@soas.ac.uk, Jane Holgatej.holgate@londonmet.ac.uk, or Miguel Martinez Lucio Miguel.MartinezLucio@manchester.ac.uk.
• TO REGISTER AND SEND YOUR CHEQUE CONTACT Jane Holgatej.holgate@londonmet.ac.uk – Dr Jane Holgate, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University, 31 Jewry Street, London EC3N 2EY – Make cheques payable to the ‘LONDON ORGANISERS NETWORK’.
• It is recommended that you register and confirm attendance in advance of the conference due to the restrictions on numbers.

This event is supported by Historical Materialism, Capital and Class, and the BUIRA Marxist Study Group

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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