CES-UC Doctoral Programmes Inaugural Lecture

The Thompsonian moment: labour unrest in the Global South

Ruy Braga (Universidade de São Paulo)

October 9, 2020, 14h30 (GMT +01:00)



In this lecture, we will argue that the so-called Fordist pattern of labour unrest was a historical and geographical exception, and that the focus on this model made it difficult to identify alternative patterns of worker mobilisation, particularly in the so-called global South. We consider that Beverly Silver's problematisation of the dominant patterns of labour unrest in the 20th century has overcome the Eurocentric bias of labour conflict analysis by redefining the field of global labour studies.

However, faced with the resumption of forms of collective mobilisation of workers on a global scale after the advent of the crisis of capitalist globalisation inaugurated in 2008, aggravated by the current pandemic, we believe it is necessary to rethink the ("Marxian" and "Polanian") models of labour unrest suggested by Silver.

In short, in highlighting contemporary resistance to mercantilization, particularly by the "global precariat", we must expect to find class struggle, but not in its industrial or Fordist guise. To this end, a recovery of the work of the English historian Edward Palmer Thompson seems useful to us in thinking about the current pattern of labour unrest on a global scale.

Bio note
Ruy Braga is a full professor at the Department of Sociology of the University of São Paulo (USP) and vice director of the Centre for the Study of Citizenship Rights (Cenedic). He is the author, among other books, of " A política do precariado: do populismo à hegemonia lulista" and " A rebeldia do precariado: trabalho e neoliberalismo no Sul global


This activity will be accessible through the Zoom platform and will be limited to number of available places:
ID: 891 7635 2418

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