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Parallel Lives

Remembering the PCF and CGT

George Ross

Philippe Herzog and Jean-Louis Moynot were members of the top leaderships of the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) and the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), respectively. Each participated in and lived through the dramatic years from the 1960s through the 1980s when both organizations first supported Union de la Gauche and then turned away from it, eventually precipitating both into decline in ways that would transform eventually the French political and trade union left. The strategic shifts underlying these deep and significant changes were traumatic for those who lived through them. Herzog and Moynot have recently published memoirs detailing their experiences of this period and their political lives thereafter. Both books, in different ways, give us new and important understandings of what happened during a critical moment of change in French politics.

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Doing global investments the Nordic way

The “business case” for Equinor's support to union work among its employees in Tanzania

Siri Lange

where the majority of the employees are organized, Industri Energi, is very close, and the Union branch at Equinor Norway has a more influential role than what is commonly found in MNCs. In contrast to most other countries, trade unions in Norway have

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Israel’s Recent Unionizing Drives

The Broader Social Context

Jonathan Preminger

By the mid-1990s, most scholars were sure that trade unions were no longer a significant political force in the Western world, even in formerly corporatist states such as Germany ( Leisink et al. 1996 ). Corporatist states had been characterized by

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Linda D’Amico

-ecological practices through the production of organic coffee and endemic forest species in order to create fair trade certification and access fair trade markets’. Based in Apuela, AACRI successfully links farm families across scales through extension agents

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Orchestrating multilateralism

Cases of EU and East-Asian inter-regional engagement

Thomas Henökl and Michael Reiterer

English abstract: Inter-regional orchestration is one possible strategy to shape global governance agendas, to coordinate international norm setting and contribute to a negotiated international order. The European Union has been engaging in various international, multilateral and inter-regional settings seeking cooperation with state and non-state actors striving for a multipolar and, to some extent post-Westphalian, system, based on democratic global governance structures and the rule of law among nations. Europe's interests, it is frequently argued, are best served by a stable set of relations, allowing for political and economic cooperation, trade and mutual respect. At the same time, the EU may have a system-inherent bias for regional cooperation. This contribution asks which are the innovative policy means to build multilateral governance structures, and what does the EU do to promote these with its partners around the world, and in particular in Asia and in the East-Asian sub-region. By adopting a behavioral approach and analyzing the mechanisms and instruments of EU engagement in Asia, this article contributes an organizational perspective on EU external governance and its multi-level foreign policy architecture to the geopolitical debates on the EU's role in Asian regional development.

Spanish abstract: Una posible estrategia para organizar las agendas de gobernanza global, coordinar el establecimiento de normas internacionales y contribuir a un orden internacional negociado es la orquestación interregional. La Unión Europea (UE) ha participado en varios foros internacionales e interregionales que buscan cooperar con actores estatales y no gubernamentales, aspirando a establecer un sistema multipolar , basado en el Estado de derecho y en estructuras de gobernanza democrática global. En este sentido, se e afirma que, probablemente, la UE tenga un sistema que esté inherentemente condicionado a favor de la cooperación regional. Este artículo se interroga sobre la determinación de las políticas innovadoras que construirán la estructura para una gobernanza multilateral y sobre el papel de la UE para promover políticas de desarrollo regional en Asia y, más particularmente, en Asia Oriental.

French abstract: L'orchestration interrégionale est une des stratégies possibles pour influencer l'agenda de la gouvernance globale, coordonner la création des normes internationales et pour contribuer à un ordre international négocié. L'Union européenne s'est engagée dans des schémas internationaux, multilatéraux et interrégionaux divers, en coopération avec des acteurs étatiques et non-étatiques, aspirant à un système multipolaire et, dans un certain sens, post-Westphalien, basé sur des structures démocratiques de gouvernance mondiale et ancré dans le droit international. Il est fréquemment évoqué que les intérêts européens sont mieux sauvegardés par un ensemble de relations stables, permettant la coopération politique et économique, le commerce et le respect mutuel. De plus, la matrice organisationnelle de l'UE semble être biaisée vers la coopération régionale. On s'interroge ensuite, sur la promotion de l'ensemble de ces pratiques par l'Union européenne avec ses partenaires dans le monde entier, et, plus particulièrement, dans la région de l'Asie de l'Est. Adoptant une approche béhavioriste, cet article examine les mécanismes et les instruments de l'engagement européen en Asie de l'Est et apporte une perspective organisationnelle de la gouvernance externe de l'UE et de son architecture multiniveaux de politique extérieure.

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Sophie Meunier

The most common perception of France found these days in the American media is that of an arrogant country, whose international gesticulations are the last hurrah masking its inevitable decline into oblivion. The French have not yet come to terms with their lengthy collapse, which started with the devastation of World War I, continued with the humiliation of their defeat in 1940 and was furthered by the loss of their colonial empire. This would explain their support, still to this day, for a Gaullist policy made up of power incantations, in contrast to real power—or lack thereof. Of course, this characterization is meant as much as an insult as an objective statement of fact. What few of these American commentators comprehend, however, is how much this image of a nation blinded by self-confidence is erroneous. On the contrary, the French have excelled at self-flagellation for a long time, rightly or wrongly. Whether one calls it “malaise” or decline, French commentators are the first to confess that France is free-falling—whether vis-à-vis the US, its European partners, or its own aspirations.

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In Search of Lost Radicalism

The Hot Autumn of 2010 and the Transformation of Labor Contention in France

Marcos Ancelovici

This article asks whether the wave of protest in the fall of 2010 in France can be interpreted as evidence of persisting radicalism. It argues that, in spite of appearances, the French labor movement is no longer radical. This claim does not imply that industrial conflict is disappearing. Strong legacies and institutional processes still feed conflict in the workplace and often push workers to use contentious, extra-institutional means; but industrial conflict is not what it used to be, with the total number of working days lost to strikes decreasing steadily over the past forty years, and with conflict itself being reconfigured and transformed. Labor contention is no longer driven by an offensive agenda and has become essentially defensive. If there is radicalism left in France, it might be best described as a "radicalism of tradition." The article concludes by discussing the relevance of "radicalism" as an analytical category to make sense of labor contention in contemporary France.

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Making a Living

Bicycle-related Professions in Shanghai, 1897–1949

Xu Tao

The bicycle so thoroughly transformed transportation in China that the country was known as “the land of cyclists” by the late twentieth century. Concerning the global popularization of industrial products, past research mainly focused on the interaction between the introduced commodities and their nonWestern consumers. In order to take the analysis of the modern transformation beyond Western objects and passive receivers, this article explores how Chinese people came to make a living from bicycles. This investigation traces the manifold transitions of the Chinese bicycle business in Shanghai during the tumultuous half-century from 1897 to 1949.

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The Politics and Poetics of Union Transgression

The Role of Visual Methods in Analyzing Union Protest Strategy

Janis Bailey and Di McAtee

This article reports on an unusual participant observer study of a union campaign. The researchers are an academic with an interest in union strategy and a visual artist/community arts trainer. We used a multi-method approach, with a focus on ethnography. Visual mater- ial (including many photographs) and ephemera were collected as part of the study. The essay examines how the use of visual repre- sentations contributed both to the unfolding methodology of the study and the theoretical analysis. It enabled us to develop a complex cultural materialist framework to analyze the campaign, bringing together a variety of theoretical approaches that have not hitherto been used in the field of study of industrial relations. We began the research with a 'simple' desire to collect illustrative material of a col- orful and interesting campaign. The research led us to conclude, however, that visual data can contribute in important ways, in the words of Stallybrass and White (1986), to a deeper understanding of “the politics and poetics of union transgression.”

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Worker Reactions to Crisis

Explaining 'Bossnappings'

Nick Parsons

In France in 2009-10, several managers announcing redundancies were held hostage by workers. Although the global economic crisis and an attendant rise in unemployment may provide a catalyst for "bossnappings," the real explanations for the phenomenon have to be found partly in the institutional make up of French industrial relations that have resulted in weak, divided unions and weak and conflictual collective bargaining mechanisms. However, such institutional factors cannot provide the whole explanation. Ideas also matter, and these underlying structural weaknesses have been unable to contain radical outbursts of anger when allied to pre-existing concerns over globalization—which appeared to be vindicated by the current economic crisis—, the reactions of the government to crisis, and the incapacity of unions or the state to respond to it.