Labour Movements, Globalization, and the Dilemmas of Development

  • Marieke Riethof
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


Latin American trade unions have faced a range of challenges as a result of globalization and the particularities of the region’s politics and societies. Labour and globalization research often reaches the pessimistic conclusion that unions have lost the power to bargain and represent workers. This chapter contests this negative interpretation, arguing that this linear narrative obscures episodes of renewed labour militancy. Instead, trade union action should be considered inherently political, as evident in the union movement’s role in the region’s democratization processes. Using insights from labour and social movement theories, this chapter develops a framework to understand militancy and moderation in Brazilian labour politics.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marieke Riethof
    • 1
  1. 1.Modern Languages and Cultures/Latin American StudiesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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