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Title: Resisting neo-liberalism, reclaiming democracy?: 21st-century organised labour beyond Polanyi and Streeck
Contributor(s): Lloyd, Christopher  (author); Ramsay, Tony  (author)
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1177/1035304617693800
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Abstract: Despite its greatly weakened condition, could organised labour again be counterhegemonic to and ultimately transformative of capitalism? Or is the current crisis, a crisis of collapse of manufacturing and wages and under-consumption due to the loss of redistributive power by key socio-political agents, possibly the final crisis of unionism, as argued by Wolfgang Streeck? Some on the political left, such as Streeck, argue that a new phase has been reached where redistributive and oppositional power of organised labour has been not just defeated but destroyed, with enormous consequences for the future of workers and capitalism itself. This article rejects such an overly pessimistic interpretation and asks what the possibility is of the labour movement's again playing its historic role of transforming capitalism. It explores the potential role of organised labour in re-embedding the economy within democratic society, as Karl Polanyi argued, and building a socio-economic structure that is both stable and enhancing of social and environmental health. This problem is approached through a critique of the theories of Polanyi and Streeck and an examination of the unfortunate embrace of labourism and accommodation to neo-liberalism in the Australian labour movement.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 28(1), p. 129-145
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1035-3046
Field of Research (FOR): 140211 Labour Economics
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 910107 Macro Labour Market Issues
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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