The Political Economy of Mass Strikes in the Global Crisis

  • Jörg Nowak
Part of the Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy book series (PEPP)


Global capitalism has restructured production networks, and the precarity-informality regime is the basis of those networks at the level of the labour regime. Strikes after 2008 in non-core countries confronted lower growth rates and the scenario of a Kondratieff downswing.


Global production networks Unequal exchange Precarity Informality Strike waves 


  1. Allianz. (2010). The Sixth Kondratieff – Long Waves of Prosperity. Accessed 27 May 2018.
  2. Amin, S. (1974). Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment. New York: Monthly Review.Google Scholar
  3. Amin, S. (2008). Foreword: Rebuilding the Unity of the ‘Labour Front’. In A. Bieler, I. Lindberg, & D. Pillay (Eds.), Labour and the Challenges of Globalization (pp. xiv–xxii). London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  4. Amin, S. (2014). Imperialist Rent and the Challenges for the Radical Left. Globalizations, 11(1), 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, P. (2016, April 21). Crisis in Brazil. London Review of Books, 38(8), 15–22. Accessed 9 June 2018.
  6. Balbona, D. L., & Begega, S. G. (2017). Declive de las huelgas y cambios en el repertorio de protesto en España. Arxios, 36–37, 97–110.Google Scholar
  7. Barnes, T. (2012/2013). Marxism and Informal Labour. Journal of Australian Political Economy, 70, 144–166.Google Scholar
  8. Bettelheim, C. (1972). Appendix I: Theoretical Comments. In A. Emmanuel (Ed.), Unequal Exchange (pp. 271–322). London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  9. Bieler, A. (2013). The EU, Global Europe, and Processes of Uneven and Combined Development: The Problem of Transnational Labour Solidarity. Review of International Studies, 39, 161–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bieler, A., & Lindberg, I. (2011). Globalisation and the New Challenges for Transnational Solidarity. An Introduction. In A. Bieler & I. Lindberg (Eds.), Global Restructuring, Labour, and the Challenges for Transnational Solidarity (pp. 3–15). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Bieler, A., & Morton, A. D. (2014). Uneven and Combined Development and Unequal Exchange: The Second Wind of Neoliberal ‘Free Trade’. Globalizations, 11(1), 35–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bieler, A., Lindberg, I., & Pillay, D. (2008a). The Future of the Global Working Class: An Introduction. In A. Bieler, I. Lindberg, & D. Pillay (Eds.), Labour and the Challenges of Globalization (pp. 1–22). London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bieler, A., Lindberg, I., & Pillay, D. (2008b). What Future Strategy for the Global Working Class? The Need for a New Historical Subject. In A. Bieler, I. Lindberg, & D. Pillay (Eds.), Labour and the Challenges of Globalization (pp. 264–285). London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bishop, M. (2016). Rethinking the Political Economy of Development Beyond ‘The Rise of the BRICS’. SPERI Paper No. 30, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  15. Braga, R. (2014). The Lula Moment. Constraints in the Current Peripheral Development Model. In K. Fakier & E. Ehmke (Eds.), Socio-Economic Insecurity in Emerging Economies (pp. 207–218). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Brecher, J. (1997). Strike! Revised and Updated Edition. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.Google Scholar
  17. Breman, J., & van der Linden, M. (2014). Informalizing the Economy: The Return of the Social Question at a Global Level. Development and Change, 45(5), 920–940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bremmer, I. (2009, July). State Capitalism and the Crisis. Accessed 31 May 2018.
  19. Bresser-Pereira, L. (2010). The Global Financial Crisis and a New Capitalism. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 32(4), 499–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Callinicos, A. (2009). Imperialism and Global Political Economy. London: Polity.Google Scholar
  21. Castells, M. (2012). Networks of Outrage and Hope. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  22. Chang, D. (2012). The Neoliberal Rise of East Asia and Social Movements of Labour: Four Moments and a Challenge. Interface, 4(2), 22–51.Google Scholar
  23. Cronin, J. E. (1979a). The Peculiar Pattern of British Strikes Since 1888. The Journal of British Studies, 18(2), 116–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cronin, J. E. (1979b). Industrial Conflict in Modern Britain. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  25. Dangler, J. F. (1994). Hidden in the Home: The Role of Waged Homework in the Modern World Economy. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  26. Department of Labour. (2015). Annual Industrial Action Report 2015. Government of South Africa. Accessed 29 Aug 2018.
  27. Desai, R. (2013). Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  28. Dunlop, J. T. (1948). The Development of Labor Organization: A Theoretical Framework. In R. A. Lester & J. Shister (Eds.), Insights into Labor Issues (pp. 163–193). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. Edwards, P. K. (1992). Industrial Conflict: Themes and Issues in Recent Research. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 30(3), 361–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ehmke, E. (2014). Strategies for Social Protection Provision: A Comparison of Brazil, India and South Africa. In K. Fakier & E. Ehmke (Eds.), Socio-Economic Insecurity in Emerging Economies (pp. 120–132). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Emmanuel, A. (1972). Unequal Exchange. A Study of the Imperialism of Trade. London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  32. Fernández-Kelly, M. P. (1984). ‘For We Are Sold, I and My People’. Women and Industry in Mexico’s Frontier. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  33. Fröbel, F., Heinrichs, J., & Kreye, O. (1980). The New International Division of Labour. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Furtado, C. (1962). A pré-revolução brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Fundo de Cultura.Google Scholar
  35. Garcia, A., & Bond, P. (2015). Introduction. In P. Bond & A. Garcia (Eds.), BRICS. An Anti-Capitalist Critique (pp. 1–12). London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  36. Gereffi, G. (1994). The Organization of Buyer-Driven Global Commodity Chains: How US Retailers Shape Overseas Production Networks. In G. Gereffi & M. Korzeniewicz (Eds.), Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism (pp. 195–122). Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  37. Gereffi, G., & Güler, E. (2010). Global Production Networks and Decent Work in India and China: Evidence from the Apparel, Automotive, and Information Technology Industries. In A. Posthuma & D. Nathan (Eds.), Labour in Global Production Networks in India (pp. 103–126). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Grace, E. (1990). Shortcircuiting Labour: Unionising Electronic Workers in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Insan.Google Scholar
  39. Harriss-White, B. (2003). India Working: Essays on Society and Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Harvey, D. (2003). The New Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Henderson, J., Dicken, P., Hess, M., Coe, N., & Wai-Chung Yeung, H. (2002). Global Production Networks and the Analysis of Economic Development. Review of International Political Economy, 9(3), 436–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Herod, A., & Lambert, R. (2016). Neoliberalism, Precarious Work and Remaking the Geography of Global Capitalism. In R. Lambert & A. Herod (Eds.), Neoliberal Capitalism and Precarious Work (pp. 1–35). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  43. Higginbottom, A. (2010, November 13). Underdevelopment as Super-Exploitation: Marini’s Political-Economic Thought. Paper Presented at Historical Materialism Conference, SOAS, London.Google Scholar
  44. Higginbottom, A. (2012/13). Structure and Essence in Capital I: Extra Surplus-Value and the Stages of Capitalism. Journal of Australian Political Economy, 70, 251–270.Google Scholar
  45. Imbert, G. (1959). Des mouvements de long durée Kondratieff. Aix-en-Provence: La Pensée Universitaire.Google Scholar
  46. Jha, P., Moyo, S., & Yeros, P. (2018, forthcoming). Capitalism and ‘Labour Reserves’: A Note. In: C.P. Chandrasekhar, J. Ghosh (Eds.), Interpreting the World to Change It. Delhi: Tulika Books.Google Scholar
  47. Kelly, J. (1998). Rethinking Industrial Relations. Mobilization, Collectivism and Long Waves. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Kelly, P. F. (2013). Production Networks, Place and Development: Thinking Through Global Production Networks in Cavite, Philippines. Geoforum, 44, 82–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kerbo, H. R. (1982). Movements of ‘Crisis’ and Movements of ‘Affluence’: A Critique of Deprivation and Resource Mobilization Theory. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 26(4), 645–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kondratieff, N. D. (1979). The Long Wave in Economic Life. Review, II(4), 519–562.Google Scholar
  51. Kopala, M., & Budden, J. (2015). The Dog Bone Portfolio, a Personal Odyssey into the First Kondratieff Winter of the Twenty-First Century. Toronto/New York: BPS Books.Google Scholar
  52. Lim, L. Y. C. (1978). Women Workers in Multinational Companies: The Case of the Electronics Industry in Malaysia and Singapore. Michigan Occasional Papers in Womens’ Studies No. 9.Google Scholar
  53. Marini, R. M. (1973). Dialética da dependência. In R. Traspadini & J. P. Stedile (Eds.), Ruy Mauro Marini. Vida e obra (pp. 130–172). Sao Paulo: Expressao Popular.Google Scholar
  54. Marx, K. (1867). Capital (Vol. 1). Harmondsworth: Penguin. (1976 edition).Google Scholar
  55. Marx, K. (1894). Capital (Vol. 3). London: Penguin. (1991 edition).Google Scholar
  56. Mason, P. (2012). Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere. The New Global Revolutions. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  57. May, C. (2013). Die Dissoziation der BRICS im finanzialisierten Kapitalismus. Peripherie, 33(130/131), 222–244.Google Scholar
  58. Mayer-Ahuja, N. (2017). Die Globalität unsicherer Arbeit als konzeptionelle Provokation: Zum Zusammenhang zwischen Informalität im “Globalen Süden” und Prekarität im “Globalen Norden”. Zeitschrift für Historische Sozialwissenschaft, 2, 264–296.Google Scholar
  59. McMichael, P. (1990). Incorporating Comparison Within a World-Historical Perspective: An Alternative Comparative Method. American Sociological Review, 55(3), 385–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McMichael, P. (2000). World-Systems Analysis, Globalization, and Incorporated Comparison. Journal of World-Systems Research, 6(3), 668–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Milios, J., & Sotiropoulos, D. (2009). Rethinking Imperialism: A Study of Capitalist Rule. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Mosoetsa, S., Stillerman, J., & Tilly, C. (2016). Precarious Labor: South and North: An Introduction. International Labor and Working-Class History, 89, 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Munck, R. (2013). The Precariat: A View from the South. Third World Quarterly, 34(5), 747–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. OICA (International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers). (2012). Production Statistics. Accessed 7 Mar 2014.
  65. Panimbang, F., & Mufakhir, A. (2018). Labour Strikes in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia, 1998–2013. In J. Nowak, P. Birke, & M. Dutta (Eds.), Workers’ Movements and Strikes in the Twenty-First Century (pp. 21–43). London: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  66. Perrot, M. (1974). Les ouvriers en gréves. 2 Volumes. Paris: Mouton.Google Scholar
  67. Posthuma, A., & Nathan, D. (2010). Labour in Global Production Networks in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Prashad, V. (2017). The Time of the Popular Front. Third World Quarterly, 38(11), 2536–2545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. PUDR. (2013). Driving Force. Labour Struggles and Violation of Rights in Maruti Suzuki India Limited. Accessed 2 June 2014.
  70. Pun, N. (2016). Migrant Labor in China. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  71. Quigley, C. (2012). Kondratieff Waves and the Greater Depression of 2013–2020. Accessed 28 May 2018.
  72. Roberts, M. (2016). The Long Depression. How It Happened, Why It Happened, and What Happens Next. Chicago: Haymarket Books.Google Scholar
  73. Roberts, M. (2017, June 13). Investment, Profit and Growth. Accessed 31 May 2018.
  74. Roy, S. (2017). Rent and Surplus in the Global Production Network: Identifying ‘Value Capture’ from the South. Agrarian South, 6(1), 32–52.Google Scholar
  75. Saad-Filho, A. (2014). The ‘Rise of the South’. In L. Pradella (Ed.), Polarizing Development (pp. 62–73). London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  76. Saul, J. S. (2014). A Flawed Freedom: Rethinking Southern African Liberation. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  77. Screpanti, E. (1984). Long Cycles in Strike Activity: An Empirical Investigation. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 25(1), 99–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Shaxson, N. (2011). Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World. London: Vintage.Google Scholar
  79. Silver, B. (1991). World-Scale Patterns of Labour-Capital Conflict. In I. Brandell (Ed.), Workers in Third World Industrialization (pp. 217–233). London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Silver, B. (2003). Forces of Labor. Workers’ Movements and Globalization Since 1870. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Smith, J. (2016). Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century. Globalization, Super-Exploitation and Capitalism’s Final Crisis. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  82. Smith, C., & Pun, N. (2018). Class and Precarity: An Unhappy Coupling in China’s Working Class Formation. Work, Employment and Society, 32(3), 599–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Standing, G. (2014). A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  84. Sturgeon, T. J. (2001). How Do We Define Value Chains and Production Networks? IDS Bulletin, 32(3), 9–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Swider, S. (2015). Building China. Informal Work and the New Precariat. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  86. Viana, N. (2006). A teoria da população em Marx. Boletim Goiano de Geografia, 26(2), 87–102.Google Scholar
  87. Wallerstein, I. (1974). The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System: Concepts for Comparative Analysis. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 16(4), 387–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wälti, S. (2012). The Myth of Decoupling. Applied Economics, 44(26), 3407–3419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Nowak
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations