Migrant Actors Worldwide

Capitalist Interests, State Regulations, and Left-Wing Strategies


Volume Editors: and
“Capital is moved to where low-wage labour is available, and migrants move – often in large numbers – to where investments and/or wealth accumulated due to specific historic factors create a demand for labour”. This volume explores this idea and contributes to the fields of global labour, working-class, and migration history by illuminating the lives of working people over the 19th and 20th centuries. The book's twenty authors discuss a wide range of topics, from capital investments in terms of the availability of low-wage labour and forced mobilization to gender discrimination.

Contributors are: Selda Altan, Beate Althammer, Nina Trige Andersen, Cecilia Bruzelius, Geoffrey Ewen, Katharine Frederick, Veronika Helfert, Dirk Hoerder, Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal, Dácil Juif, Radhika Kanchana, Leslie Page Moch, Lukas Neissl, Christof Parnreiter, Lucas Poy, Richard Saich, Mahua Sarkar, Lewis H. Siegelbaum, Yukari Takai, and Aliki Vaxevanoglou.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Dirk Hoerder has taught US and Canadian social history, global migration studies, and sociology of migrant acculturation at the University of Bremen (1977-2008) and Arizona State University (2007-2011). His publications include Cultures in Contact: World Migrations in the Second Millennium (2002) and What is Migration History? (2009).

Lukas Neissl was General Secretary of the International Conference of Labour and Social History from 2014 to 2020 and has worked for and been active in trade unions in Austria, Peru, and Venezuela. Currently, he is working at Central European University (CEU) in Austria.
List of Figures and Tables

Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction Migrant Actors Worldwide: Capitalist Interests, State Regulations, and Left-Wing Strategies
  Dirk Hoerder and Lukas Neissl

Part 1
Perspectives, Approaches, Frames
2 Pluralist States, Multiple Migrations, International Approaches
  Dirk Hoerder

3 World-Systems, Uneven Development, and Migration
  Christof Parnreiter and Dirk Hoerder

Part 2
Class/Classes: Formations, Outsourcing, Informalizing, Global Hierarchies
4 Introduction
  Dirk Hoerder and Lukas Neissl

5 Outsourcing the Working Class Guestwork in Turbulent Times
  Mahua Sarkar

6 Is There Informal Labour? The Concept, the ilo ’s Ideology, and Greece as an Example
  Aliki Vaxevanoglou

7 Utilizing Population Movements How States Use Emigration to Regulate National Economies
  Cecilia Bruzelius

8 The Quest for Chinese Labour Colonial Competition for Coolies and the Emergence of the Modern Chinese Worker
  Selda Altan

9 African Agency versus State and Capital Control Migration to the British Northern Rhodesian Copperbelt in Comparative Perspective, 1920s to 1960s
  Dácil Juif

Part 3
Empires and Labour Regimes – and “the Left”
10 Introduction
  Dirk Hoerder and Lukas Neissl

11 Organizable and Unorganizable Migrants Racism and Internationalism in Early-Twentieth-Century Social Democracy
  Lucas Poy

12 Labour Migration Regimes in Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation
  Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Leslie Page Moch

13 Producing (Im-)mobile Capital and Labour in the Arab-Gulf Region From the British Empire to Independent States
  Radhika Kanchana

14 The Making of a Neoliberal Labour Regime in California Immigration, American Empire, and Union Organizing in the 1980s and 1990s
  Richard Saich

Part 4
Regional Migration Patterns, Work Regimes, and Worker Agency
15 Introduction
  Dirk Hoerder and Lukas Neissl

16 Foreign Polish Labour Migrants in the German Empire A Reassessment
  Beate Althammer

17 Colonial Boom Towns Migration and Insecure Urban Tenure in Industrializing Southern Rhodesia
  Katharine Frederick

18 “Ceylon for Sinhalese!” “Depression Politics” and Indian Migrants in Ceylon
  Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal

Part 5
Workingmen’s and -women’s Agency in Globally Interconnected Spaces
19 Introduction
  Dirk Hoerder and Lukas Neissl

20 Between Migrants and States Japanese Entrepreneurs and Professionals in Two Port Cities in the Pacific World, 1880s to 1920s
  Yukari Takai

21 Deterring Free and Deploying Interned Migrant Ukrainian Workers The Catholic Church, the Canadian State, and the Quebec Asbestos Strikes of 1915 and 1916
  Geoffrey Ewen

22 A “Special Category of Women” in Austria and Internationally Migrant Women Workers, Trade Union Activists, and the Textile Industry, 1960s to 1980s
  Veronika Helfert

23 Filipina Chambermaids in Denmark Organizing within and Outside the Copenhagen Hotel and Restaurant Workers’ Union, 1960s to 1990s
  Nina Trige Andersen

Selective Bibliography


This volume will be of particular interest to researchers and students of global migration history, sociology of labour, and working-class culture, trade unionists, and labour historians.
  • Collapse
  • Expand