Journal 'Workers of the World', published by IASSC
Journal 'Workers of the World', published by IASSC

Two calls for contributions for future special issues of the journal Workers of the World, deadlines 28 Februari and 15 April 2024.

Workers of the World: International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflict aims to stimulate global studies on labor and social conflicts in an interdisciplinary, global, long term historical and non-Eurocentric perspective. It intends to move away from traditional forms of methodological nationalism and conjectural studies, adopting an explicitly critical and interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, it will publish empirical research and theoretical discussions that address strikes and social conflicts in an innovative and rigorous manner. It will also promote dialogue between scholars from different fields and different countries and disseminate analyzes on different sociocultural realities, to give visibility and centrality to this theme.

Strikes, Social Conflicts, and Class Struggle in Wartime

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 symbolizes the end of a period of armed equilibrium between the two powers that led much of the world and that at the Yalta Conference, in 1945, agreed to delineate the respective spaces of influence. Even if this balance was hidden in several real conflicts that hellishly heated up the temperature of a so-called “cold” war, especially in the colonial spaces of Africa and South-East Asia, the armed conflicts that persisted left out, at least directly, the main powers and their arsenals. With the destruction of the wall, the previous balance in the apparent supremacy of the victorious power and the rise of others on significant regional scales, the danger of uncontrolled military escalations and the absence of international institutions capable of settling disagreements seems to be the new and threatening reality. International law is a dead letter and force remains the rule of armed imposition of all conflicts.

Conflicts between states and nations, of nationalities within the same national spaces, bloody civil wars from which drug traffickers and the burgeoning war industry take advantage. The "infinite war" that ushered in the 21st century, through the farce of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, was after all a neocolonial project for the control of strategic resources and corporate profits in the reconstruction of everything that the weapons had destroyed. The Middle East and the curse of its fossil wealth have made its populations victims of colonialism and exploitation by national elites, invariably educated and trained in the West, but it also provides us with the most blatant example of the hypocrisy of a discourse on human rights that has never served to ensure Palestinian self-determination, let alone the most basic rights of a besieged and occupied population.

In the face of all the conflicts and wars that follow one another within the framework of imperialist disputes, or in the strengthening of the control of the means of production in regions deprived of all the most basic rights, there have always been reactions and enormous mobilizations that have countered them and ensured internationalist solidarity between peoples. Although the position of the German revolutionaries, contrary to the approval of the credits of the Great War by the Reichstag, was the class expression of those who did not accept the imperialist war or the arguments of nationalist fervor for the enormous destruction and example of barbarism that this war meant in Europe.

The Barcelona dockers, by refusing to load military equipment to Israel, are a current example of the effective solidarity that can counter the illegitimate occupation of Palestine and today's colonial projects. The movement of deserters from the colonial countries in the wars of liberation, in Africa or Vietnam, as in Israel today, more than examples of courage, are signs of an internationalism with a class signal.

The concrete organization of workers against imperialist wars and neo-colonialism, through strikes or the participation in anti-war movements, had and still has a profound significance for the possibilities of self-determination of peoples, for decent living, and for decent living and working conditions in the fair distribution of wealth, the only ways to equate a world at peace.

In this sense, we invite contributions to the Workers of the World journal that explore the nature and processes of all those moments, in the past and in the present, in which the workers' movement influenced the course of the war and was decisive for its end.

The papers must be presented before the 28th of February 2024 and sent to the Executive Board at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Strike Activity in the 21st Century: Implications of the Recent Global Upsurge

Selected papers will be considered for publishing

While global capitalism has remained in the grip of a series of multi-dimensional and intertwined crises (including ongoing economic malaise, legacy of Covid, escalating impact of climate change, intensification of wars in different parts of the world such as Ukraine, Palestine and Africa and geopolitical crisis between Russia, China and the West, and the mounting debt crisis in the Global South), the past 18 months or so has also seen a welcome resurgence of strike action and social conflicts in many different countries around the world, representing a new, different and exciting period.

With the onset of the global financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st century there had already been a comeback of strikes and labour struggles in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as a series of strikes against austerity in Western Europe. While the level of workers’ resistance was generally not sustained for long, there were elements of the global crisis that continued to create widespread anger and radicalisation, with an increasing political generalisation about the system of capitalism and the problems it creates, particularly among young people shaped by social movements such as Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and climate protests.

And more recently there has been a new upsurge of angry and defiant strike movements at varying levels of intensity and momentum in numerous countries, including France, Britain, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, United States, Canada, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and China, with workers rediscovering their power when they take collective action.

The revival of such strike activity has contributed to an undermining of the long predominant view that such action was no longer feasible due to widespread structural changes in the composition of the working class towards ‘precarious’, insecure and fragmented work contexts that make trade unionism and collective action near impossible.

In the light of such developments, we invite contributions to the Workers of the World journal that explore the nature, dynamics, trajectory, limits and potential, and implications of such strikes. As well as both empirical studies and/or analytical interpretations, we would also invite papers not merely on contemporary developments, but also comparative and historical studies that reflect on recent developments in the light of different struggles in the same or other countries and/or time periods.

Potential (but not exclusive) related topics are:

  • The different sectors and varied occupational composition of strikers, involving traditional industrial workers and public services, as well as new areas of employment such as platform work, retail, logistics (including Amazon)
  • Participation and prominence of women strikers, and of migrant and ethnic minority workers
  • Strike tactics, organisation and conduct (such as intermittent days of action versus indefinite strikes, mass picketing, strike committees, rank-and-file networks)
  • Role of national trade unions in initiating and constraining action
  • The role of the labour, socialist and social-democratic parties (often at best irrelevant to the strikes and sometimes openly antagonistic)
  • Extent of development of grassroots independent forms of workers’ organisation inside existing unions
  • Involvement of newer independent radical union-led strikes
  • Links between trade unions and broader social movements
  • Nature of counter-mobilisation by employers, government and local and state authorities, and degree of authoritarian repression of working-class protests

The papers must be presented before the 15th of April 2024 and send to the Executive Board at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.