Marxist Sociology Blog: Theory, research, politics2018-10-24T10:00:29+00:00

Understanding how workplace occupations win

Workplace occupations – sometimes also known as workplace sits-ins – often take on an iconic status within the annals of the international labour movement. Many on the left simply conclude that direct action works. But this shows a deficiency in understanding the interaction of processes and outcomes at work and the specificity of the conditions under which they operate. The successful occupation and work-in at Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) in Scotland in 2017 can be used as a lens by which to reconsider the contemporary utility of the tactic and the frequency of its usage. With BiFab, there was manifest group cohesion, generation of a usable bargaining asset, ability to create political pressure, buoyant product demand, and the strategic importance of energy infrastructure.

By |Jan 15, 2019|Categories: Blog article, Theory|Comments Off on Understanding how workplace occupations win

Are we at a tipping point? Assessing the US political terrain

“Liberal democracy is crumbling.” The daily headlines certainly seem to confirm this assessment. Yet, the nature of the crisis remains murky.

By |Jan 9, 2019|Categories: Blog article, Research|Comments Off on Are we at a tipping point? Assessing the US political terrain

Down with neoliberalism . . . as a concept

It is only the left who talk about neoliberalism. Our opponents don’t use the concept so we are not engaging with them when we speak a different language. At best, because the term has been used in so many different ways, we almost always need to re-trace our steps to establish what exactly we mean by neoliberalism. Worse, the term lends itself to mirror-image inversions of the facile libertarian mantra that the market is good and the state bad. Ultimately, the term neoliberalism is misleading – not a tool but an obstacle to working out how the world works and how it changes. Nor does it help us identify what we should do.

By |Dec 19, 2018|Categories: Blog article, Commentary|Comments Off on Down with neoliberalism . . . as a concept