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Tag Archives: Welfare State

No Future




Thursday, November 15, 2012
Ryerson University, Room 508
285 Victoria Street, Toronto
In an age of government imposed austerity, and after 30 years of neoliberal restructuring, the future of the welfare state looks increasingly uncertain. Asbjørn Wahl offers an accessible analysis of the situation across Europe, identifies the most important challenges and presents practical proposals for combating the assault on welfare.

Wahl argues that the welfare state should be seen as the result of a class compromise forged in the 20th century, which means that it cannot easily be exported internationally. He considers the enormous shifts in power relations and the profound internal changes to the welfare state which have occurred during the neoliberal era, pointing to the paradigm shift that the welfare state is going through. This is illustrated by the shift from welfare to workfare and increased top-down control.

Asbjørn Wahl is an adviser to the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees and director of the Campaign for the Welfare State in Norway. He serves as Vice President of the Road Transport Workers’ Section of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Chair of the ITF Working Group on Climate Change. He is also a member of the coordinating committee of the European Social Forum. He has published a number of articles on politics, social and labor both in Norway and internationally.

His most recent publication is The Rise and Fall of the Welfare State (Pluto Press, London, November 2011 –

Sponsored by MA Program in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson, Centre for Social Justice, Socialist Project. Contact: Bryan Evans, or phone 416 979-5000 ext 4199.



Sunday, November 18, 2012
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto,
Room 7192
252 Bloor St. West (at St. George subway)

Introduced by Brian Donnelly – Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design, Sheridan College

Revolutionaries and socialists often yearn for an authentic, political art that can resist and even stand outside a monstrous, mimetic, commodity culture. The Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are often called on to fill that need. Modern painters from the early 20th Century, they explored the new forms and imagery possible in painting, working in styles from surrealism to socialist realism, creating small autobiographical works for themselves and giant murals done for the wealthiest patrons in the world. Their work is rich, warm, and rewarding to look at, but it also suggests many contradictions and questions.

This talk will look at some of the methods by which art is discussed from a Marxist perspective, beginning with “Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art,” signed by Andre Breton and Diego Rivera (and involving considerable input from Leon Trotsky). By looking at the questions we ask about art and its objects, we can try to separate what is living from what is commodified and alienated in contemporary, visual culture.

AND….TOUR THE SHOW: People interested in the subject may also meet as a group at the Art Gallery of Ontario, at 1 pm on the Sunday before the talk, to tour the show, “Frida and Diego: Passion Politics and Painting.” It costs $25 (free to AGO members), and you should book a ticket online well in advance, to avoid disappointment.

If you RSVP BY THE 12th, we can book this as a group; we don’t have to pay in advance, and there is likely a discount. Indicate your interest to, and Brian will submit the official form and book spaces.

From Brian Donnelly: People can tour the exhibition at their own speed; they recommend at least a half hour or more. The gallery does not permit non-employees to lead loud group tours on their own, and I won’t offer to do much more in the gallery than chat with people who approach me. We can arrange to meet for coffee between the tour and the talk, and begin the discussion then. I would enjoy focusing the talk based on what people have noticed and the questions they ask.

Organized by Ideas Left Out



Sunday, November 25, 2012
1:30pm – 4:30pm
PSAC Office
90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 608
Toronto, Ontario

CLiFF is a labour oriented Film Festival dedicated to telling the stories of working people in our own words and images. CLiFF and PSAC are partnering to show four short films along with the film “We Are Wisconsin” to raise awareness of the devastating social impact of the austerity agenda on working people and indigenous peoples.



Izmir, Turkey
June 17-19, 2013

– Deadline for extensive abstracts – 20 February 2013
– Full paper submission deadline – 1 April 2013
– Revised draft submission deadline – 15 April 2013
– Anticipated publication date – June 2013
– The registration deadline is – May 30, 201
– Anticipated publication date for late submissions – September 2013

The Second International Symposium on Language and Communication: Exploring novelties (ISLC-2013) will be held on June 17-19, 2013 at Ege University Ataturk Culture Center, Izmir, Turkey. The ISLC-2013 provides an opportunity for exploring many different facets of interdisciplinary language and communication fields.

The aims of the Institute of Language and Communication Studies (ILCS) include the followings: a) fostering research in the area of interdisciplinary language and communication, and b) promoting cooperation among all parts within the field. The ISLC’13 offers a forum for those inside and outside academia to exchange pedagogical and research methods, as well as to explore greater cooperation among the many different constituencies of the field.

For more information:




The Online Teaching Working Group, and COCAL (Coalition on Contingent Academic Labor) request your help in surveying all faculty who teach online. We suspect that most people who teach on line do so as contingents (non-tenure-track). As higher education goes through rapid changes, this is likely to be the workforce and delivery system of the future.

The purpose of the survey is to collect information on wages and working conditions leading to possible organizing for improvements. We are not looking for a random sample in order to do anything quantitative. We are looking to find out what’s out there. Hopefully, we’ll be able to identify examples of “the good, the bad and the ugly” which will enable us to have an informed discussion of labor standards for online teaching. We will report back at the conference in Toronto.

Feel free to spread the link to any relevant lists or individuals.

If you do not want your name on your reply, just type in random letters in the “What is your name?” box. No individual names will appear in the final (or draft) report and no raw data will be circulated outside the committee that is working on this.

However, we DO need the name of your institution, the one through which you are teaching the class with the working conditions that you are describing.

Here’s the link:



Special Issue on Distance Learning and Online Education
Submission deadline: January 31, 2012

The Journal of Teaching in Social Work plans to publish a Special Issue on Distance Learning and Online Education in 2013. In this regard, we invite manuscripts that address all aspects pertaining to professional social work online, distance, and virtual instruction leading to an accredited BSW, MSW, or DSW degree, and continuing education toward social work specialization certification or licensure renewal. Preferred manuscripts will be those that provide a systematic and rigorous formative or summative assessment of current initiatives or offer a detailed and conceptually focused description and rationale for prospective programs.

Topics might well include the following:
• Synchronous and asynchronous instruction
• Simulcast classes deploying ITV online
• Live, interactive web-based class and training sessions
• Interactive video technologies and programmed instruction
• Skype-based seminars, faculty advising, and video conferencing
• Hybrid courses using web-based platforms
• Alternative virtual academic degree-centered educational conceptualizations
• Assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the pursuit of online (versus) residential degrees
• Effectiveness of providing licensure-mandated courses and examinations via distance learning
• Outcome evaluation of graduates’ preparation for practice, including comparative performance on licensing exams

Submit Manuscripts Via Scholar One – It’s Easy

Journal of Teaching in Social Work receives all manuscript submissions electronically via their ScholarOne Manuscripts website located at: Questions regarding the requirements for manuscript submission for this Special Issue can be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief at:



by Christopher Walke,

The major recall of E. coli contaminated meat from XL doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

There may be some substance to calls for greater regulation and the resignation of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. But there is a deeper problem that no one in the elite media seems capable of addressing: the sweatshop working conditions at XL. I know it from personal experience.

Read more:



by Noor Javed, Toronto Star

Behind the sprawling subdivisions and glossy condo towers being built in the GTA are the people who go unnoticed: The homeowner working two jobs to pay his mortgage, the single mother living in a basement apartment or the newcomer sharing a home with another family — or two.

But policy makers and charitable organizations stress that because the problem is invisible, doesn’t mean it is non-existent.

In fact, it not only exists but in some cases — Markham-Unionville, Mississauga-Cooksville and Bramalea-Gore-Malton —poverty rates and child poverty rates are higher than the provincial average.

Read more:–poverty-pockets-growing-in-suburbs



A UFCW Canada Human Rights Department Release

Despite Walmart’s best efforts, a new website called ( will continue rallying people online to urge Walmart to become a socially responsible employer. As Walmart celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the company is telling customers and communities a one-sided story about its business and values.

In response,, launched by Making Change at Walmart, showcases the real stories of Walmart retail associates, customers, community members and those working in the company’s production and supply chains throughout the world, which offer a more complete story that Walmart
won’t tell.

The World Intellectual Property Organization recently ruled that the campaign can retain its domain names,, and

This latest freedom of speech win for Walmart workers, supporters and their communities follows a similar victory in 2010, when the company tried to force an injunction against the Walmart Workers Canada website.

To find out more about the Making Change at Walmart campaign, go to



Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education. For more information about this project, visit

For more information about CSEW, visit:




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The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism: The Collapse of an Economic Order?
London and New York: Zed Books, 2010
Edited by Kean Birch and Vlad Mykhnenko

Hardback: £70.00   ISBN: 9781848133488
Paperback: £18.99  ISBN: 9781848133495

Book website: 

About the Book

The recent, devastating and ongoing economic crisis has exposed the faultlines in the dominant neoliberal economic order, opening debate for the first time in years on alternative visions that do not subscribe to a ‘free’ market ethic. In particular, the core contradiction at the heart of neoliberalism – that states are necessary for the functioning of free markets – provides us with the opportunity to think again about how we want to organise our economies and societies. The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism presents critical perspectives of neoliberal policies, questions the ideas underpinning neoliberalism, and explores diverse response to it from around the world.

In bringing together the work of distinguished scholars and dedicated activists to question neoliberal hegemony, the book exposes the often fractured and multifarious manifestations of neoliberalism which will have to be challenged to bring about meaningful social change.

What People Have Said About the Book

‘Since the 1970s, the politics of “neoliberalism,” based on the purported concern to minimize state interference in the economy and thus to unleash “free” markets, have been mobilized at various sites and scales across the world economy. This book provides useful intellectual tools for deciphering the ideological, social and institutional foundations of neoliberalism and its wide-ranging implications for the still ongoing regulatory reorganization of capitalism.’ – Neil Brenner, New York University 

‘This is an outstanding book not only because of the sophisticated critiques offered by some of the most highly regarded thinkers on the topic of the destruction and misery wrought through neoliberal capitalism, but also because its forward looking emphasis on a more egalitarian and hopeful future offers insights about the work that needs to be done by activists and scholars alike. Moreover, this book helps us recognize that the emergence of any talk of a post-neoliberal era is premature beyond helping to construct a road map for ways citizens of the world can collectively, and deliberately, move forward.’ – Nik Heynen, University of Georgia

‘This timely and wide ranging book traces the changing contours of neoliberalism, demonstrating how market-oriented policies gave rise to a globally hegemonic political-economic project. The emphasis is on identifying the different forms neoliberalism takes and the diverse responses to it. At a juncture when this political-economic project is under increasing scrutiny from supporters and opponents alike, the book challenges existing conceptions of neoliberalism and makes an important contribution to the reinvigorated search for political alternatives.’ – Wendy Larner, Professor of Human Geography and Sociology, University of Bristol

‘A timely volume on the nature, varied manifestations, and above all limitations of a an economic order that is failing so spectacularly with the financial crisis. Highly recommended for academics, students, or for that matter anyone interested in the politics of our times.’ – Magnus Ryner, Professor of International Relations, Oxford Brookes University.

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction: A World Turned Right-Way Up – Kean Birch and Vlad Mykhnenko

Part 1: The Rise of Neoliberalism

2. How Neoliberalism Got Where It Is: Elite Planning, Corporate Lobbying and the Release of the Free Market – David Miller

3. Making Neoliberal Order in the United States – Kean Birch and Adam Tickell

4. Neoliberalism, Intellectual Property and the Global Knowledge Economy – David Tyfield

5. Neoliberalism and the Calculable World: The Rise of Carbon Trading – Larry Lohmann

6. Tightening the Web: The World Bank and Enforced Policy Reform – Elisa van Waeyenberge

7. The Corruption Industry and Transition: Neoliberalising Post-Soviet Space? – Adam Swain, Vlad Mykhnenko and Shaun French

8. Remaking the Welfare State: From Safety Net to Trampoline – Julie MacLeavy
Part 2: The Fall of Neoliberalism

9. Zombieconomics: The Living Death of the Dismal Science – Ben Fine

10. From Hegemony to Crisis? The Continuing Ecological Dominance of Neo-Liberalism – Bob Jessop

11. Do It Yourself: A Politics for Changing Our World – Paul Chatterton

12. Dreaming the Real: A Politics of Ethical Spectacles – Paul Routledge

13. Transnational Companies and Transnational Civil Society – Leonith Hinojosa and Anthony Bebbington

14. Defeating Neo-liberalism: A Marxist Internationalist Perspective and Programme – Jean Shaoul

15. Conclusion: The End of an Economic Order? – Vlad Mykhnenko and Kean Birch

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