Labour Movements Under Rekindled Nationalism

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:30-17:20
RC44 Labor Movements (host committee)

Language: English

Much of the world has taken a nationalistic political stance to counter the ill effects of neoliberal globalization such as employment and livelihood loss and a sense of identity crisis. The rise of Donald Trump and the triumph of nationalistic politics in the United States has to be read in association with the accentuating power of politicians with nationalist tendencies such as Xi Jinping in China and Narendra Modi in India and the possibility of a right-wing appropriation of the presidential elections in France. The consequences of this new shift on labor have not been uniform.  The “Make in India” initiative of Modi that aims to develop India as a manufacturing hub has drawn the wrath of labor unions, even those affiliated with the right-wing BJP, while major American trade union bureaucracies such as the UAW have supported Trump’s “America first” rhetoric. This session seeks to examine the role of labor movements in this rekindled era of nationalism. The papers may address, though may not be limited to, the following questions: How does this nationalistic turn affect the mobilizing capacities of labor movements globally and locally? What forms of movements or counter movements are in sight to support or resist this protectionist shift?  What is the role of labor politics in the broader politics of opposition to this nationalism?
Session Organizer:
Manjusha NAIR, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Manjusha NAIR, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Oral Presentations
The Crisis of National Liberation Nationalism in South Africa: The Response of the National Union of Metal Workers (NUMSA) and the Role of Worker Education
Vishwas SATGAR, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Michelle WILLIAMS, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Local Struggles Confront Decentralisation: Organising Brick Kiln Workers in Gujarat, India
Ernesto NORONHA, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India; Premilla DCRUZ, Indian Instittute of Management Ahmedabad, India
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