The Coming of the Global Working Class
Even as labour in the developed world seems to be in retreat, industrial struggle continues elsewhere, and with particular force in the Global South. In Southern Insurgency, Immanuel Ness provides a thorough and expert perspective of three key countries where workers are fighting the spread of unchecked industrial capitalism: China, India, and South Africa. In each case, he considers the broader historical forces in play, such as the effects of imperialism, the decline of the international union movement, class struggle, and the growing reserve of available labour. He then narrows his focus in each case on the specifics of the current grassroots insurgency: the militancy of miners in South Africa, new labour organizations in India, and the rise of worker insurgencies in China. The product of extensive firsthand field research, Southern Insurgency paints a picture of the new industrial proletariat in the Global South, a group that lives a precarious, frightening existence yet at the same time offers hope for new approaches to solidarity and the anti-capitalist struggle.
Immanuel Ness is Professor of Political Science at City University of New York. His new book, Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class, is published by Pluto Press (2015). He is also author of Guest Workers and Resistance to U.S. Corporate Despotism and Immigrants, Unions, and the New U.S. Labor Market, as well as numerous other articles and academic and popular books on labour, worker insurgencies, community public and social health, and trade unions. He is editor of the International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest and Working USA: The Journal of Labour and Society.
Moderated by Mark Thomas. Discussants:
- Viviana Patroni is Associate Professor of International Development Studies in the Department of Social Science at York University.
- Kyla Sankey is a Toronto-based activist, a PhD candidate in human geography at the University of Toronto, and also affiliated with CERLAC at York University.
- Sam Gindin was research director of the Canadian Auto Workers and is now an adjunct professor at York University in Toronto.
Sponsored by The Global Labour Research Centre (York University), the Centre for Social Justice, and the Socialist Project.