Rethinking Global Labour

After Neoliberalism

Ronaldo Munck

£70.00  |  $99.00
ISBN 9781788211048
£22.99  |  $30.00
ISBN 9781788211055
£22.99  |  $30.00
ISBN 9781788211062
280 pages   |  234 x 156mm   |  30 September 2018


"A wide-ranging, multidimensional, and thoughtful discussion of the future for the workers of the world." – Goran Therborn, University of Cambridge

"At a time of widespread pessimism veteran labour scholar Ronaldo Munck has given us a complex but optimistic account of the future of an emerging global working class. Rethinking Global Labour is a remarkable book: comprehensive but focused, analytical but accessible. It is a powerful call for labour to return to its social movement origins and fulfil its historic role in a post-globalized world." – Edward Webster, University of Witwatersrand

"This is a much-needed book that takes a broad, historically informed look at the role of labour in the global economy. It serves as a reminder of the importance of labour internationalism at a time when international political attention seems focused on national interests and protectionism. It should be read by everyone interested in understanding and building a truly international labour movement." – Melanie Simms, University of Glasgow


Far from witnessing the beginning of the end of organized labour as a major political force, Rethinking Global Labour argues that, post-financial crisis, we are entering a new era for workers and their organizations in which they will begin to impact decisively on the new global order.

In exploring the potential futures for the world’s workers, the book provides an insightful account of how globalization has created a new global working class while increasing the insecurity and precarious nature of most employment. Moving beyond categories of North and South, Munck argues that the new global class of workers will be central both to the future of globalization and to its possible alternatives. In some ways the book poses a “return to the future” drawing parallels with the birth of the labour and democratic movements before the consolidation of nation states.

At a time of growing unease with the negative effects of economic globalization, Rethinking Global Labour offers an important assessment of global labour and its potential for organization.


Introduction: the issues

Part I: History of labour
1. Labour and capitalism
2. The golden era
3. The era of globalization

Part II: Development of a global working class
4. Workers North
5. Workers South
6. Global precariat

Part III: New challenges for global labour
7. Migrant labour
8. Labour and its Others
9. Labour internationalism
Conclusion: possible futures

Author Information

Ronaldo Munck is Head of Civic Engagement at Dublin City University and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the University of Liverpool and St. Mary's University, Nova Scotia. He has authored or edited more than 30 books on various topics related to globalization, international development and social movements, including Contemporary Latin America (third edition 2012).

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Read the online debate here

The arguments advanced in Ronaldo Munck's new book are discussed by a roundtable of scholars and labour activists.