Friday, 11 February 2011

Why Labor Imperialism?

Scipes, Kim (2010) 'Why Labor Imperialism? AFL-CIO Foreign Policy Leaders and the Developing World', Working USA, Vol. 13: 465-479.

This article does two things: one it establishes the theoretical concept of labor imperialism for the first time, building off the work of Dutch scholar Jan Nederveen Pieterse, who takes a broader and deeper approach to imperialism than does established approaches. It then establishes that US Labor's foreign operations are, in fact, labor imperialism.

Secondly, it argues that Labor's foreign policy is based, not on structural requirements, as has been previously argued, but on ideological approaches that stem from American Nationalism and the desirability--in the eyes of AFL-CIO leaders--of the US dominating the world.

Thus, efforts to transform the AFL-CIO's foreign policy program into genuine labor internationalism must not only construct international labor solidarity, but this specifically must reject American nationalism, on which the AFL-CIO's foreign policy program is based.