Labor and the Public Sphere
Special issue of Labor Studies Journal
in coordination with the 2012 United Association for Labor Education conference
The Labor Studies Journal invites paper proposals on the theme of labor and the public sphere.
Recent attacks on public sector unions and collective bargaining rights have ignited a firestorm of debate and resistance, while forcing to the surface fundamental questions about the labor movement’s relationship not only to public sector workers, but to public policy and institutions, public debate, the macro-economy, and democracy itself. “Austerity” agendas continue to explicitly couple attacks on labor rights (in the public and private sectors) with attacks on public education, public services, and government. At the same time, recent worker-led resistance to repressive regimes abroad has illustrated the deep relationships between labor movements and the creation of new public spheres and democratic structures.
In the context of these ongoing domestic and international struggles, we welcome papers addressing topics including but not limited to the following:
· The role of public sector unions in the political economy
· Public sector unions and public sector collective bargaining
· Responses to attacks on public sector workers, unions, or labor rights
· Unions and public life, public action, public discourse, or public institutions
· Unions and democracy, worker political organizing, civic engagement, or voter participation
· Labor and public education
· Labor and “austerity”: privatization, tax cuts, “structural adjustment,” erosion of public institutions and services, etc.
· The workplace in relation to public space: How can organizing at work relate to the transformation of democratic practices and public activism (or vice versa)?
· International comparisons or case studies
Papers submitted will be considered for presentation at the United Association for Labor Education Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, PA, March 21-25, 2012. Papers accepted and presented at the conference will then be eligible to undergo the peer review process for possible publication in a special conference issue of Labor Studies Journal.
Please send electronic copies of 3-5 pp. manuscript proposals by December 5, 2011 to the guest editors listed below. Full-length manuscripts are expected by the time of the conference in March. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed following the conference.
National Labor College
University of Iowa