Titled “Neoliberal Dilemmas: Shifting Targets, Changing Repertoires, and Internal Democracy in the Labour Movement”, the talk will be about the dilemmas of neoliberalism and globalization for the labor movement. Based on research on U.S. unions, it will also draw out the implications for labor movements elsewhere and, in particular, for global labor campaigns.
Dr. Kim Voss is professor at the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley where she arrived in 1986 with a Ph.D. from Stanford. She studies social movements, labor, inequality, higher education, and comparative-historical sociology.
Her current research explores contemporary social movements, worker identities in a new era of immigration, and the shifting competitiveness of college admissions. Most recently, she published “Rights, Economics, or Family? Frame Resonance, Political Ideology, and the Immigrant Rights Movement” (with Irene Bloemraad and Fabiana Silva) in Social Forces, 2016, a coedited book on the 2006 immigration protests (with Irene Bloemraad), Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America (University of California Press 2011), and “The Local in the Global: Rethinking Social Movements in the New Millennium,” (with Michelle Williams) in Democratization (Vol. 19, 2012).
She has published two books about U.S. labor today: Hard Work: Remaking the America Labor Movement (with Rick Fantasia, University of California Press 2004) and Rebuilding Labor: Organizing and Organizers in the New Union Movement (co-edited with Ruth Milkman, Cornell University Press 2004), along with several articles, including, most recently, “Same as It Ever Was? New Labor, the CIO Organizing Model, and the Future of American Unions,” Politics and Society, 43 (2015): 453-457 and “Democratic Dilemmas: Union Democracy and Union Renewal,” Transfer: European Review of Labor and Research, 16 (August 2010): 369-382.
In earlier work, Professor Voss studied the Knights of Labor–the largest American union organization of the nineteenth-century–to shed light on the question of why the U.S. labor movement has traditionally been so weak and politically conservative in comparison to labor movements in Western Europe. Her book on the Knights, The Making of American Exceptionalism: The Knights of Labor and Class Formation in the Nineteenth Century(Cornell University Press) was published in 1993. In 1996, she and five of her Berkeley colleagues wrote Inequality By Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (Princeton University Press).