Missing Links in Labour Geography: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Missing Links in Labour Geography

1st Edition

By Ann Cecilie Bergene, Sylvi B. Endresen


256 pages

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Addressing a number of 'missing links' in the analysis of labour and its geographies, this volume examines how theoretical perspectives on both labour in general and the organizations of the labour movement in particular can be refined and redefined. Issues of agency, power and collective mobilizations are examined and illustrated via a wide range of case studies from the 'global north' and 'global south' in order to develop a better and fuller appreciation of labour market processes in developed and developing countries.


'An energetic and creative intellectual project, labour geography has repeatedly broken new ground. This lively collection features many of the project’s new voices, pushing the boundaries again, and critically revisiting basic questions of agency, power and politics in sites from North to South.' Jamie Peck, University of British Columbia, Canada 'The economy is global, and any understanding of labour and trade unionism today must be transnational: this was obvious even before 2008-9 and the crisis of world capitalism. But labour is not only a victim of neoliberal globalisation: organised workers have the capacity to fight back. This important new work represents a significant advance in the theory of global labour; perhaps more importantly, it offers essential insights for union representatives and activists worldwide.' Richard Hyman, London School of Economics, UK ’This is a specialist academic text. It will be useful to graduate students and labour studies scholars whose research touches on the geographical dimensions of current debates in the field, including the scale of union organizing and the spatial dilemmas of transnational campaigns and international solidarity.’ Labor Studies Journal '… the book is undoubtedly a positive addition to the field of labour geography. The geographically diverse range of case studies which include: Canada, China, England, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Vietnam, add an invaluable integrity to the theoretical discussions. The book is accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of labour geography, and for those who are less familiar, the first two chapters provide an effective introduction.' European Spatial Research and Policy

Table of Contents

Contents: Part I Introduction: Re-engaging with agency in labour geography, Ann Cecilie Bergene, Sylvi B. Endresen and Hege Merete Knutsen; Labour geography: where have we been, where should we go?, Andrew Herod; Re-embedding the agency of labour, Neil M. Coe and David C. Jordhus-Lier. Part II The Agency of Unions: The entangled geographies of trans-national labour solidarity, Andy Cumbers and Paul Routledge; Exploring the grassroots' perspective on labour internationalisms, Rebecca Ryland; Navigating a chaotic consciousness in the trade union movement, Ann Cecilie Bergene; Schumpeterian unionism and 'high road' dreams in Toronto's hospitality sector, Steven Tufts; Trade unions as learning organizations: the challenge of attracting temporary staff, Dorit Meyer and Martina Fuchs; Union power and the formal-informal divide, Gunilla Andrae and Björn Beckman. Part III Politics of Labour: Between revolutionary rhetoric and class compromise: trade unions and the state, Herbert Jauch and Ann Cecilie Bergene; The constitutive inside: contingency, hegemony and labour's spatial fix, Jamie Doucette; Theoretical approaches to changing labour regimes in transition economies, Hege Merete Knutsen and Eva Hansson; Between coercion and consent: understanding post-apartheid workplace regimes, Ola Anders Magnusson, Hege Merete Knutsen and Sylvi B. Endresen. Part IV Labour and Strategies of Capital: Erosion from above, erosion from below: labour, value chain relegation and manufacturing sustainability, Michael Taylor and John Bryson; Globalization and the reworking of labour market segmentation in the Philippines, Niels Beerepoot; 'We order 20 bodies': labour hire and alienation, Sylvi B. Endresen. Part V Conclusion: Approaches to the social and spatial agency of labour, Ann Cecilie Bergene, Sylvi B. Endresen and Hege Merete Knutsen; Index.

About the Authors

Ann Cecilie Bergene, Senior Researcher,Work Research Institute, Norway, Sylvi B. Endresen is Associate Professor in Human Geography, Hege Merete Knutsen is Professor in Human Geography all at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway

About the Series

The Dynamics of Economic Space

The Dynamics of Economic Space
The IGU Commission on 'The Dynamics of Economic Space' aims to play a leading international role in the development, promulgation and dissemination of new ideas in economic geography. It has as its goal the development of a strong analytical perspective on the processes, problems and policies associated with the dynamics of local and regional economies as they are incorporated into the globalizing world economy. In recognition of the increasing complexity of the world economy, the Commission's interests include: industrial production; business, professional and financial services, and the broader service economy including e-business; corporations, corporate power, enterprise and entrepreneurship; the changing world of work and intensifying economic interconnectedness.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography