Locating labour conflict and its organising forms in contemporary times: between class and the reproduction of capitalism


The following article aims to provide a conceptually rooted introduction to the articles to be published in the internationally coordinated themed collection on 'Labour conflict, class and collective organization', an initiative which has involved four journals focusing on labour studies from different geographical angles and academic traditions: Economic and Labour Relations Review (ELRR); Global Labour Journal (GLJ); Partecipazione e Conflitto (PACO); and Revista Latino Americana de Estudios del Trabajo (RELET). The contributions to be published across the four journals are diverse, both in terms of geographical focus, disciplinary perspectives and sector of analysis.This diversity is very welcomed and represents a fertile soil for conceptual considerations, because it corresponds to the manifold forms in which labour conflict expresses itself in the reality of capitalism. What's the abstract unity of these concrete empirical realities, as Marx would have put this? In the following introduction we focus on two general theoretical issues we consider fundamental and mutually interrelated: a rethinking of workers' collective forms of organization within and beyond trade unions; the framing of these forms and of labour conflict in the broader historical dynamics of working classes formation. With this, we hope to provide a lens of analysis for the papers in the international special issue and more in general a methodological guidance to future studies on labour conflict.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v16i2p205

Keywords: Labour conflict; class; migration; production and social reproduction; formal and informal employment; trade unions; workers' self-organisation


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Papers published in this Special Issue:

Galanti C., M. Naughton (2023), “Using the Unions: Healthcare Struggles in Italy and Spain between Trade Unionism and Self-Organization”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 16(2): 216-233.

Perra M.S., K. Pilati (2023), “Political, General, or Economic Strikes? New Types of Strikes and Workers’ Contention in Italy”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 16(2): 234-251.

Quondamatteo N., M. Marrone (2023), “Struggle for Recognition, a Lever to Establish Industrial Relations from Below. Reinterpreting Couriers’ Mobilisations in Food Delivery Sector in Italy”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 16(2): 252-267.

Iannuzi F.E., F. Campolongo (2023), “Time, Discipline and Subjectivity: Performing Arts Worker Mobilisations in Italy during the Pandemic”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 16(2): 268-286.

Cuppini N., M. Frapporti, and M. Pirone (2023), “Circulating through the Pipeline. Algorithmic Subjectivities and Mobile Struggles”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 16(2): 287-300.

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