Table of Contents

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production

Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series

Edited by Kees van der Pijl

This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art overview of the changing world of global production. Chapters cover the geography of why and where jobs are moving in both manufacturing and services. The authors discuss topics relating to the human and natural basis on which production rests, from the consequences of exploitation and marginalization on body and mind, to sex work, biotechnology, and the prospects for ecological re-balancing. This Handbook will appeal to academics at all levels interested in political economy, international studies and politics, as well as trade unionists and NGO activists.

Chapter 1: Labour, war and world politics: contemporary dynamics in world-historical perspective

Beverly J. Silver

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy, social policy and sociology, labour policy


During the last decade of the twentieth century, there was an almost complete consensus in the social science literature that labour movements worldwide were in a general and severe (some argued terminal) crisis. By the turn of the century, however, a growing number of observers were suggesting that labour movements were on the upsurge, most visible as a mounting popular backlash – from Seattle to Genoa – against the dislocations provoked by contemporary globalization. Yet, in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, with demonstrations and strikes being cancelled around the world, questions were raised about the future of movements that had appeared to be on a strong upward trajectory. Then, on 15 February 2003, with war looming in Iraq, some of the largest demonstrations in world history – with strong labour movement participation – were held in hundreds of cities throughout the world.