International workshop on Labour and transnational action in times of crisis: from case studies to theory.
(Centre for Advanced Study, Oslo; 27 and 28 February 2014)
Neo-liberal globalisation and Europeanization have put national labour movements under pressure. The increasing transnationalization of production and centralisation of economic governance within multinational firms and supranational organisations (EU, ECB, IMF, WTO) have put national trade unions in competition with each other. And yet, workers are not without weapons. Too often the structural constraints of the global economy are emphasised, at the expense of potential agency of labour. These economic and political integration processes have also provided new strategic possibilities for trade unions. Key here is the way of how trade union action at the local and national level may be connected across borders in moments of transnational solidarity.
The purpose of the workshop is to analyse transnational labour action in times of crisis, historically and now. ‘Labour’ includes trade unions but also other, more informal forms of collective action by workers understood in a broad sense. The overall ambition is to move beyond empirical description of cases to a conceptually informed understanding of collective action across borders.