Theoretical research summaries

Can Digital Tools Be Used for Organizing?

Arizona’s strike leaders harnessed the digital powers of information and communication technologies to promote organizing, allowing the movement to reach beyond social media’s echo chambers. It was through digital tools that AEU promoted targeted in-person outreach and therefore built a more powerful walkout.

By |2021-12-01T10:28:11-05:00Dec 1, 2021|

The Dispossession-Versus-Exploitation Dilemma for Informal Workers

Over the past 40 years, however, a formidable body of literature has challenged the prevailing assumptions about informal workers, asserting that their vulnerability stems not from their lack of integration into the mainstream economy, but rather from their subordinated positions within it.

By |2021-09-15T09:27:07-04:00Sep 15, 2021|

Rethinking the Russian Revolution from Across the Empire

Beyond rediscovering the lost history of the Tsarist empire’s non-Russian Marxists, my study addresses the following puzzle: Why did revolutionary processes and outcomes diverge so dramatically across time (between 1905 and 1917) and space (between the different regions of imperial Russia)?

By |2021-07-14T09:58:28-04:00Jul 14, 2021|

Theorizing “OK Boomer!” Class War or Generation War?

"OK Boomer" emerged as a symptom of late-capitalist postmodernity among a generation who, for structural reasons, may not ever realize the even modestly comfortable lifestyles of many of their (grand)parents. Rather than confront this structural issue, many engage in “fetishistic disavowal.”

By |2021-07-07T11:34:37-04:00Jul 7, 2021|

Informal Employment and the Social Reproduction of Value

Social Reproduction Theory recenters the analysis of capitalism on its reproductive architecture. Here, I further discuss the centrality of social reproduction to value generation and develop a ‘value theory of inclusion’. I identify three concrete mechanisms through which social reproduction contributes to value generation. The first reproductive mechanism is based on (migrant) workers’ living arrangements at their place of work: dormitories or informal housing in slum-like industrial villages. The second channel through which social reproduction is generative of value is through the complex process of rural-urban migration and circulation of labour, which subsidizes capital by socialising reproductive costs. The third channel is the incorporation of homeworkers into global value chains.

By |2021-07-06T08:54:43-04:00Jul 2, 2021|

Heterodox Economics and Crypto-Marxism

Marx’s influence extends well beyond the self-identified Marxian school to several other important heterodox traditions within economics, though this often passes unrecognised on both sides. Consequently, the proper boundaries of the Marxian school of economics are much wider than either many self-identified Marxists, or indeed crypto-Marxists, generally consider. Each of the Minskian, post-Keynesian, Sraffian, institutional, feminist and social ecological (dominant) schools/branches of heterodox economics make a significant contribution in developing effectively Marxist themes and theory. Self-identified Marxists, as well as crypto-Marxists, stand to benefit intellectually and practically from a mutual recognition of this implicit division of hererodox economics labour.

By |2021-04-09T04:29:24-04:00Apr 7, 2021|

Precarity Through a Feminist Lens

The term ‘precarity’ has gained significance in the social sciences, as a number of recently published international compilations illustrate. Responding to the neoliberal transformations of the labor market, precarity emerged as a category attempting not only to describe the prevailing conditions work (marked by the continuous losing of workers’ rights), [...]

By |2021-03-18T09:25:59-04:00Mar 18, 2021|

Property Dimensions and Ecological Preservation

Contrary to the classical sociological tradition of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, Margaret Thatcher famously proclaimed that “there is no such thing as society.” Similarly mainstream economics assumes the basic unit of individuals and individual private property as the foundation of the market system.  Drawing upon her mentor Friedrich von Hayek, [...]

By |2020-10-28T11:31:28-04:00Oct 28, 2020|

The Limits of State Capitalism on China’s Bid for Hegemony

Much of the current discourse on China’s rise significantly overstates its economic might. China’s model of state capitalism and the dynamics of globalization have contributed to its rapid development over the past four decades. Yet these same factors circumscribe its hegemonic potential.

By |2020-10-14T13:11:15-04:00Oct 14, 2020|

Capitalist Restructuring and the Power of Women Textile Workers in Egypt

Changes in the Egyptian textile industry gave women workers structural power, which they drew on to develop cross-gender solidarities and working-class consciousness to fight back. Their strikes laid the groundwork for the Arab Spring.

By |2020-09-16T17:07:50-04:00Sep 16, 2020|
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