Postneoliberalism (''Rosa Luxemburg foundation'' )
Birgit Sauer: What about Gender Relations? The Slow Transformation of Gender Inequality / Gregory Albo: The Crisis of Neoliberalism and the Impasse of the Union Movement / Ulrich Brand: Ecological Crisis and the ambiguous Post-Neoliberalisation of Nature
What about Gender Relations? The Slow Transformation of Gender Inequalityby Birgit Sauer
Neo-liberalism in Western Europe has been characterized by the persistence of unequal gender relations at the intersection of class, nationality and ethnicity. Patriarchal state relations stabilised inequality between men and women, widened the gap between different groups of men and women along the lines of class, nationality and ethnicity. Or put it different: Gender relations were used to legitimise capitalist forms of production and reproduction, namely the externalisation of care-work. Although the notion of "post neo-liberalism" points to the transformation of neo-liberal relations of state, market and household production, the presentation will point to the continuities from Fordism to neo-liberalism and post neo-liberalism with respect to the externalisation of care-work and, thus, to unequal gender relations. The methodological approach will be a feminist-materialist concept of state.
The Crisis of Neoliberalism and the Impasse of the Union Movementby Gregory Albo
The paper focuses on the historical and actual situation of the union movement. Its weakening was a centre-piece of neoliberalism, widely promoted by capital and the state, and brought the movement an organisational, economic and political impasse.. Although in 2008 the economic situation in most countries started to worsen and the ideological crisis of neoliberalism has become obvious, there are strong neoliberal continuities: the state is still heavily oriented towards neoliberal policies and the societal relationships of forces is not shifting in favour of progressive actors. The author outlines four major challenges the union movement and describes new approaches in relation to labour demands like the ‘living wage’ or the strengthening of the public sector, alliances between the global justice and the labour movements, and organisational changes of the unions themselves towards a social justice unionism. He argues that the labour movement can only be strengthened when it becomes part of a wider reconstitution of the left.
Ecological Crisis and the ambiguous Post-Neoliberalisation of Natureby Ulrich Brand
The author argues that in recent years it has become obvious that the neoliberal or post-Fordist forms of the appropriation of nature have not been successful but have led to a deepening of the ecological crisis. There are different ways of dealing with the crisis of societal relationships with nature and the failed attempts of the management of global resources and problems (the ‘Rio type of politics’): a business-as-usual version, an openly coercive variant of postneoliberal strategies with regard to the societal appropriation of nature, and a version linked to the emergence of developmentalist and state-led strategies in some countries. A fourth type points to emancipatory forms of societal relationships with nature. Different elements of this version, strategies to realise it and problems to be tackled are all sketched out.