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Workers of the World

Essays toward a Global Labor History


Marcel van der Linden

The studies offered in this volume contribute to a Global Labor History freed from Eurocentrism and methodological nationalism. Using literature from diverse regions, epochs and disciplines, the book provides arguments and conceptual tools for a different interpretation of history – a labor history which integrates the history of slavery and indentured labor, and which pays serious attention to diverging yet interconnected developments in different parts of the world. The following questions are central:
▪ What is the nature of the world working class, on which Global Labor History focuses? How can we define and demarcate that class, and which factors determine its composition?
▪ Which forms of collective action did this working class develop in the course of time, and what is the logic in that development?
▪ What can we learn from adjacent disciplines? Which insights from anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists are useful in the development of Global Labor History?

History of Transnational Voluntary Associations

A Critical Multidisciplinary Review

Thomas R. Davies

(Koteck 2003 ). Human Rights Histories of universal human rights have proliferated in recent years (Ishay 2004 ; Hunt 2007 ; Lauren 2011 ; Stearns 2012 ; Davidson 2012 ). Much of the literature on this topic has been criticized for “essentialized Eurocentrism” in its emphasis on purported roots

Beyond Marx

Theorising the Global Labour Relations of the Twenty-First Century


Edited by Marcel van der Linden and Karl Heinz Roth

Capitalism has proven much more resilient than Marx anticipated, and the working class has, until now, hardly lived up to his hopes.
The Marxian concept of class rests on exclusion. Only the ‘pure’ doubly-free wage-workers are able to create value; from a strategic perspective, all other parts of the world’s working populations are secondary. But global labour history suggests, that slaves and other unfree workers are an essential component of the capitalist economy.
What might a critique of the political economy of labour look like that critically reviews the experiences of the past five hundred years while moving beyond Eurocentrism? In this volume twenty-two authors offer their thoughts on this question, both from a historical and theoretical perspective.

Contributors include: Riccardo Bellofiore, Sergio Bologna, C. George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, Niklas Frykman, Ferruccio Gambino, Detlef Hartmann, Max Henninger, Thomas Kuczynski, Marcel van der Linden, Peter Linebaugh, Ahlrich Meyer, Maria Mies, Jean-Louis Prat, Marcus Rediker, Karl Heinz Roth, Devi Sacchetto, Subir Sinha, Massimiliano Tomba, Carlo Vercellone, Peter Way, Steve Wright.

Nikitah Okembe-Ra Imani

is article focuses on the philosophical implications of Euro-centrism and Eurocentric discourse for the Western human rights narrative. It is argued that there is insufficient theoretical and practical consideration of those implications, particular for advocacy and activity in the so-called “Th ird

Mark Frezzo

1970s, dependency theorists and world-systems analysts criticized the scientism, determinism, and Eurocentrism of modernization theory. In effect, they aimed to dis- credit the idea that all societies must follow the same path from tradition to modernity. Buoyed by the growth of Th ird Worldism in the

Mark Frezzo and Farshad Araghi

developmentalism: positivism – defi ned as the belief that social science should adopt the meth- ods of natural science and aspire to value neutrality; methodological nationalism – defi ned as the assumption that the nation-state constitutes the fundamental unit of analysis; Eurocentrism – defi ned as the belief that