Global Unionism and Global Governance

  • Andrew Vandenberg


In 2001, several international unions and union bodies1 met to discuss a wide-ranging review of international unionism (Schmidt, 2005). One upshot of this review was that the international unions began to rebadge themselves as global unions. There were several reasons for this organisational name change. First, it reflected efforts to address the social consequences of neo-liberal policies of economic globalisation and the International Labour Organisation (ILO)-led campaign for decent work for all workers everywhere. Second, it reflected the way global unions seek alliances with other transnational movements against neo-liberal globalisation. Third, after the end of the Cold War, the collapse of apartheid, and union involvement in several democratisation movements, the new name reflects the unions’ attempt to move beyond old tensions between revolution and reformism, or communist, social democratic, and liberal forms of internationalism.


Social Movement International Labour Organisation Global Governance Master Programme Global Union 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brecher, J. and Costello, T. (1990a) ‘American Labor: The Promise of Decline’, in J. Brecher and T. Costello (eds), Building Bridges, The Emerging Grassroots Coalition of Labor and Community (New York: Monthly Review Press)Google Scholar
  2. Brecher, J. and Costello, T. (eds) (1990b) Building Bridges, The Emerging Grassroots Coalition of Labor and Community (New York: Monthly Review Press)Google Scholar
  3. Calhoun, C. (1995) ‘“New Social Movements”’ of the Early Nineteenth Century’, in M. Traugott (ed.), Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action (Durham, NC: Duke University Press)Google Scholar
  4. Castells, M. (1997) The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture Volume II, The Power of Identity (Malden, MA: Blackwells)Google Scholar
  5. Crosby, M. (2005) Power at Work, Rebuilding the Australian Union Movement (Sydney: Federation Press)Google Scholar
  6. Geddes, B. (2007) ‘What Causes Democratization?’, in C. Boix and S.C. Stokes (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press)Google Scholar
  7. Global Labour University (2010) Steering Committee Minutes, retrieved 3 Feb 2013, <>
  8. Global Labour University (2012) Progress Report 2012, retrieved 3 Feb 2013, <>
  9. Gramsci, A. (1971) Selections from the Prison Notebooks (London: Lawrence & Wishart)Google Scholar
  10. Granovetter, M. (1985) ‘Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness’, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 91, no. 3, November, pp. 481–510 (reprinted in Wellman, Barry and Berkowitz, S. D. (1997) Social Structures: A Network Approach, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, pp. 430–451).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Habermas, J. (1981) ‘New Social Movements’, Telos, vol. 49, no. Fall, pp. 33–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hands, G. (1971) ‘Roberto Michels and the Study of Political Parties’, British Journal of Political Science, vol. 1, pp. 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Held, D. (1987) Models of Democracy (Stanford: Stanford University Press)Google Scholar
  14. Hindess, B. (1971) The Decline of Working-Class Politics (London: Paladin)Google Scholar
  15. Hoffer, F. (2006) ‘Building Global Labour Networks: The Case of the Global Labour University’, Just Labour, vol. 9, no. Autumn, pp. 16–34.Google Scholar
  16. Hoffer, F. (2012) ‘A One-World Research and Study Opportunity’, International Union Rights, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 10–12.Google Scholar
  17. Howard, P. (2010) ‘Triangulating Debates within the Field: Teaching International Relations Research Methodology’, International Studies Perspectives, vol. 11, pp. 393–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hulden, V. (2013) ‘Three Cheers for Data! Interviews with Beverly Silver and Sjaak van der Velden’, Workers of the World, International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflicts, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 231–247.Google Scholar
  19. Hurd, R. (2006) ‘The Rise and Fall of the Organizing Model in the US’, in M. Harcourt and G. Wood (eds), Trade Unions and Democracy, Strategies and Perspectives (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers)Google Scholar
  20. Hyman, R. (1975) Industrial Relations A Marxist Introduction (London: Macmillan Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hyman, R. (1999) ‘Imagined Solidarities: Can Trade Unions Resist Globalization?’, in P. Leisink (ed.), Globalization and Labor Relations (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar)Google Scholar
  22. Hyman, R. (2005) ‘shifting Dynamics in International Trade Unionism: Agitation, Organisation, Bureaucracy, Diplomacy’, Labour History, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 137–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Imig, D. and Tarrow, S. (eds) (2001) Contentious Europeans (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield)Google Scholar
  24. Jessop, B. (1998) ‘The Rise of Governance and the Risks of Failure: The Case of Economic Development’, International Social Science Journal, vol. 50, no. 155, pp. 29–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kelly, J. (1998) Rethinking Industrial Relations, Mobilization, Collectivism, and Long Waves (London: Routledge)Google Scholar
  26. Kjaer, A.M. (2004) Governance, (Cambridge: Polity Press)Google Scholar
  27. Kjellberg, A. (2000) Fackliga organisationer och medlemmar i dagens Sverige, 2nd edn (Lund: Arkiv förlag)Google Scholar
  28. Kjellberg, A. (2007) ‘The Swedish Trade Union System in Transition: High but Falling Union Density’, in C. Phelan (ed.), Trade Union Revitalisation: Trends and Prospects in 38 Nations (Oxford: Peter Lang)Google Scholar
  29. Kochan, T.A., Locke, R., Osterman, P. and Piore, M. (2004) ‘Extended Networks: A Vision for the Next Generation Unions’, in A. Verma and T.A. Kochan (eds), Unions in the 21st Century (London: Palgrave)Google Scholar
  30. Lairson, T.D. (2003) ‘Is Technology “Just a Tool”?’, Transformations: Liberal Arts in the Digital Age, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  31. Lee, E. (1999) ‘Trade Unions, Computer Communications and the New World Order’, in P. Waterman and R. Munck (eds), Labour Worldwide in the Era of Globalization, Alternative Union Models in the New World Order (London/New York: Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press)Google Scholar
  32. Lipset, S.M. (1962) ‘Introduction’, in R. Michels (ed.), Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (New York: The Free Press)Google Scholar
  33. Mathers, A. (2007) Struggling for a Social Europe: Neoliberal Globalization and the Birth of a European Social Movement (Hampshire, UK: Ashgate)Google Scholar
  34. McAdam, D., Tarrow, S. and Tilly, C. (2001) Dynamics of Contention, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McAdam, D., Tarrow, S. and Tilly, C. (2009) Comparative Perspectives on Contentious Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Michels, R. (1962 [1915]) Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (New York: The Free Press)Google Scholar
  37. Moody, K. (1997) Workers in a Lean World, Unions in the International Economy (London/New York: Verso)Google Scholar
  38. Moore, B. (1973) Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (Penguin, Harmondsworth: Penguin University Books)Google Scholar
  39. Mörtvik, R. (2006) Turboekonomin, den globala kampen om jobb och välfärd (Stockholm: Premiss förlag)Google Scholar
  40. New Unionism Network (2013), retrieved 3 Feb 2013, <>
  41. Peetz, D. (1998) Unions in a Contrary World: The Future of the Australian Trade Union Movement, Reshaping Australian institutions (Cambridge/Melbourne: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Piazza, J. (2001) ‘De-linking Labor, Labor Unions and Social Democratic Parties under Globalization’, Party Politics, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 413–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Piven, F.F. and Cloward, R. (1977) Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, and Why They Fail (New York: Vintage Books)Google Scholar
  44. Polanyi, K. (1944) The Great Transformation, The Political and Economic Origins of Our Times (Boston: Beacon Press)Google Scholar
  45. Potter, D. (1997) ‘Explaining Democratization’, in D. Potter, D. Goldblatt, M. Kiloh and P. Lewis (eds), Democratization (Cambridge, UK/Malden, MA: Polity/Blackwell Publishers)Google Scholar
  46. Rhodes, RAW (1996) ‘The New Governance: Governing without Government’, Political Studies, vol. XLIV, pp. 652–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rustow, D.A. (1970) ‘Transitions to Democracy, Toward a Dynamic Model’, Comparative Politics, vol. 2, no. April, pp. 337–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schmidt, V. (2005) ‘The Global Union Research Network: A Potential for Incremental Innovation?’, Just Labour, vols 6 & 7, no. Autumn, pp. 43–54.Google Scholar
  49. Scipes, K. (1992) ‘Understanding the New Labor Movement in the Third World: The Emergence of Social Movement Unionism’, Critical Sociology, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 81–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Seidman, G.W. (1994) Manufacturing Militance, Workers’ Movements in Brazil and South Africa (Berkeley, Los Angeles/London: University of California Press)Google Scholar
  51. Showstack, A.B. (ed.) (2002) The CyberUnion Handbook, Transforming Labor Through Computer Technology (Armonk, London: M.E. Sharpe)Google Scholar
  52. Silver, B.J. (1995) ‘World-Scale Patterns of Labor-Capital Conflift: Labour Unrest, Long Waves, and Cycles of World Hegemony’, Review: A Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 155–205.Google Scholar
  53. Silver, B.J. (2003) Forces of Labor, Workers’ Movements and Globalization since 1870 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stephens, J.D. and Wallerstein, M. (1991) ‘Industrial Concentration, Country Size, and Trade Union Membership’, American Political Science Review, vol. 85, no. 3, p. 941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tarrow, S.G. (1998) Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics, 2nd edn, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics (Cambridge,UK/New York: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tarrow, S.G. (2005) The New Transnational Activism, Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tarrow, S.G. (2006) ‘Confessions of a Recovering Structuralist’, European Political Science, vol. 5, pp. 7–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tarrow, S.G. (2012) Strangers and the Gates, Movements and States in Contentious Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Taylor, G. and Mathers, A. (2002) ‘social Partner or Social Movement? European Integration and Trade Union Renewal in Europe’, Labor Studies Journal, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Therborn, G. (1977) ‘The Rule of Capital and the Rise of Democracy’, New Left Review, no. 103, May-June, pp. 3–42.Google Scholar
  61. Tilly, C. (1978) From Mobilization to Revolution (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley)Google Scholar
  62. Tilly, C. (1995) ‘Democracy is a Lake’, in G.R. Andrews and H. Chapman (eds), The Social Construction of Democracy, 1870–1990 (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan)Google Scholar
  63. Tilly, C. (2001) ‘Mechanisms in Political Processes’, Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 4, no. June, pp. 21–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tilly, C. (2004a) Contention and Democracy in Europe 1650–2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
  65. Tilly, C. (2004b) Social Movements, 1768–2004 (Boulder, London: Paradigm Publishers)Google Scholar
  66. Tilly, C. (2005) Explaining Social Processes (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers)Google Scholar
  67. Tilly, C. (2006) Regimes and Repertoires (Chicago, IL/London: University of Chicago Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Tilly, C. (2007) Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tilly, C. and Tarrow, S. (2006) Contentious Politics (London: Paradigm Publishers)Google Scholar
  70. Tilly, C. and Tilly, C. (1998) Work Under Capitalism, New Perspectives in Sociology (Boulder, CO: Westview Press)Google Scholar
  71. Touraine, A. (1983) Solidarity: The Analysis of a Social Movement: Poland, 1980–1981, Editions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme (Cambridge, New York, Paris: Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
  72. Visser, J. (2003) ‘Unions and Unionism around the World’, in J.T. Addison and C. Schnabel (eds), International Handbook of Trade Unions (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar)Google Scholar
  73. Waghorne, M. (2009) An Evaluation of the Global Labour University, retrieved 3 February 2013, <>.
  74. Waterman, P. (1999) ‘The New Social Unionism: A New Union Model for a New World Order’, in P. Waterman and R. Munck (eds), Labour Worldwide in the Era of Globalization, Alternative Union Models in the New World Order (London/New York: Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press)Google Scholar
  75. Waterman, P. (2001) Globalization, Social Movements and the New Internationalisms (London/New York: Continuum)Google Scholar
  76. Waterman, P. and Munck, R. (eds) (1999) Labour Worldwide in the Era of Globalisation, Alternative Union Models in the New World Order (London/New York: Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press)Google Scholar
  77. Webster, E., Lambert, R. and Bezuidenhout, A. (2008) Grounding Globalization, Labour in the Age of Insecurity (Oxford: Blackwell)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Western, B. (1995) ‘A Comparative Study of Working-Class Disorganisation: Union Decline in Eighteen Advanced Capitalist Countries’, American Sociological Review, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 179–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Western, B. (1999) Between Class and Market, Postwar Unionization in the Capitalist Democracies (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrew Vandenberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Vandenberg

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations