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Globalization and Labour Course Outline 2011 Luis Aguiar

Globalization and Labour Course Outline 2011 Luis Aguiar

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Globalization and Labour Course Outline, 2011, Dr. Luis Aguiar, UBC Okanagan - includes David Harvey, Ruth Milkman, Amanda Tattersall, Jennifer Jihye Chun, Dimitris Stevis and Terry Boswell.
Globalization and Labour Course Outline, 2011, Dr. Luis Aguiar, UBC Okanagan - includes David Harvey, Ruth Milkman, Amanda Tattersall, Jennifer Jihye Chun, Dimitris Stevis and Terry Boswell.

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Published by: SociusRapide on Jan 22, 2011
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Luis LM Aguiar, PhD Department ofSociology, Art 262 Tel.: 807.9346 x79346;Office hours: after class or Thursday morningsEmail: luis.aguiar@ubc.ca
UBCO Barber School: Sociology 430: Globalization, Neoliberalism and Labour Organizing across Borders Winter 2011 Rm 396 SCI bldg; Weds: 9:30 -12:30
"In their various incarnations, and their various constituents, the antiglobalization movement,anti-capitalist, and social-justice movements deserve more credit than they have taken for blunting the forward progress of neoliberalism. The urgent issue now is the reconstitution andexpansion of that movement and the political work that will make 'nee-liberalism' a cliche in .practice as well as in concept, and will point the way to a different future."— Neil Smith If we take Neil Smith seriously, than 'what political work is being done by antiglobalization, anti-capitalist and social justice movements to make neoliberalism history both in ideology andpractice? How is the 'reconstitution and expansion' of this movement taking political shape toachieve the goal of a better-society beyond neoliberalism? What role are trade unions playingin the anti neoliberal/globalization movement? What political work, campaigns and organizingare trade unions doing to make neoliberalism a cliché in ideological.and.materialist terms?Does this political work point the way to a different future, or does it simply demonstrate anaccommodation to the neoliberal model? And, if indeed neoliberalism is currently in ideologicaland economic crises, what challenges and opportunities does this offer trade unionstodotheir organizing for a more just future? This course seeks to indicate ways by which these questionsare being addressed practically and organizationally for a different and better future. Our focusis largely on trade unions because less has been written about the ways they are organizingto mount challenges to corporations at the global scale. These challenges relate to improvingglobal workers' living conditions, standards oflivingand brighter future freer of exploitation andabuse. Therefore,ifthe nature of our course is on the economic processes of globalization,neoliberalism and governance of the global economy, then what are the labour movements'responses to these largely anti-worker processes? Cross border organizing and coalitionbuilding offer an important strategy to resist and push back economic globalization's negativeaspects? But what is cross-border organizing? Hos is it organized? What challenges andopportunities does it offer to workers, unions and the Labour Movement?Our goal is to explore theoretically and empirically capitalist globalization, especially as itimpacts theglobal working classes through the the restructuring of labour processes in theglobal capitalist mode ofproduction. Having done this, we seek to understand the ways in whichlabour movements are organizing transnationally to resist this form of neoliberal globalization. We examine campaigns of cross-border organizing to ascertain their results in stemming neoliberalism and exploitation. I approach these issues from my researchinterests in the global janitorial workforce and cross border organizing initiatives and coalitionsto organize these workers. T he latter will be pursued by focusing on a specific union and the
 
ways by which this union is developing cross border structures and mechanism to achievecoherent organizing strategies and aims with global union partnerships. Humanitarianism,ethical global citizenship, consumer boycotts, students against sweatshops, etc are other examples of transnational organizing. What are the strengths and weaknesses of thesemodels? What do they offer -and in what ways -workers in the global economy? Studentsare encouraged, in their research papers for this course, to investigate the work of theseorganizations or that of trade union campaigns to bring workers from the globe closer together for a better collective future.
Organization and responsibilities
Students are expected to attend all classes and be prepared to discuss the assignedmaterial. To facilitate discussion, students are required to produce a two-page precis oneach ofthereadings and submitthese to the instructorat least 24<hourspriortoclass time. Thisassignment will be graded in addition to being a springboard to class discussions. Eachprecis should contain: 1. a summary of the argument in the reading; 2. a summary of how theargument is developed; 3. the methodology by which data was gathered for the argument; 4<.your reactions to the readings; and 5. two questions you want to raise about the contents of the argument to pose to the class for discussion. Each week a different group of students' que-stions will be posed to the class for discussion in small group format.The first period of class time (1.5hr) will be lecture time and the second seminar discussion ledby students ' questions and interventions. In addition to assigned readings, students are alsoresponsible for audio visual materials presented and discussed in class. Course requirementsalso include a mid-term and final exam. A research paper will be required and will be presentedto the class and then submitted to the instructor at a later date.
In
other words, students willuse their presentations as a way to dissemination knowledge about their subject matter andto gain feedback from the class to use to improve their paper before handing it in for grading.This final version of the paper will be submitted to the instructor at the end of the semester. Wewill devote the last three weeks to student paper presentations. I expect you to do your paper in groups of no more than two partners. T his means more research, more ideas and a better paper. More details on the paper will be handed out to students next meeting.
Objectives:
1.To understand the role of labour and trade unions (the Labour Movement) in improvingworking conditions for the lives ofthe global working class;2.To understand how groups are organizing transnationally and the various shapes this istaking;3.To familiarize ourselves with the emergmg literature on global labour organizingstrategies;4.To encourage students to work collaboratively and collegially; and5.To develop students presentation, communication and writing skills.
 
Finally: please put your cell phone on vibrate while in class.
Evaluation:
1. Precis: 10%2. Mid-term exam: 25%3. Presentation: 5%4. Final paper: 30%5. Final exam 30%Required Texts: (1) David Harvey,
The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism.
NewYork: Oxford University Press, 20 10. (2) Dimitris Stevis and Terry Boswell,
Globalization
&
Labor: Democratizing Global Governance.
Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers,2008. NB: Other required readings can be found in various journals accessible-via the library'selectronic journals page or in the reserve section of the library: Recommended Texts: (1) Jennifer Jihye Chun,
Organizing at 
 
the Margins.
Ithaca NY: CornellUniversity Press, 2009; (2) Amanda Tattersall,
Power in Coalitions.
Philadelphia: TempleUniversity Press, 2010; and Ruth Milkman,
LA Model.
WEEKLY TOPICS AND READINGSWeek One (jan 5):
Introduction to course: Neo(lie)beralism: Defining our terms/narrowing our focus: How can we begin to conceptualize the contemporary era of capitalism? What is the newlanguage of crisizing neoliberalism?Globalization; Neoliberalism; Keynesianism; the welfare state; the nation-state; post-neoliberalisrn, after-neoliberalism; organizing; trade unions; cross border; transnationalism;historical subj ect; modern prince; postmodern prince; working class; NGOs; ethical citizenship;austerity; agency; etc Required Readings: noneRecommended Readings: Andrew Herod and Luis LM Aguiar, Introduction to
Cleaners in theGlobal Economy.
Malden: Blackwell, 2006.
Week Two (jan 12):
Crisis of Neoliberalism and/or Crises of Capitalism: Is this crisis differentand if so, what implications does it have for how we understand our current economicrestructuring? How do we organize within the crisis of neoliberalism?Required Readings: David Harvey, chapters 1-4(1-118) in
The Enigma of Capital 
Video:Endof Poverty? Think Again (2010)- Economic issues but not the just the current crisishttp://resolve.1ibrary.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/catsearch?bid=4412037 

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