New Book

Where are the Unions? -edited by Sian Lazar

2nd May 2017

Where Are The Unions?

Workers and Social Movements in Latin America, the Middle East and Europe


Edited by Sian Lazar

The first book to compare the anti-neoliberal uprisings in Latin America (‘Turn to the Left’), the Middle East and North Africa (‘Arab Spring’), and Europe (anti-austerity movements)

  • Offers a global perspective on the formation of the precarious workforce
  • Explicitly addresses the tension and split between the traditional unions and anarchistic politics

The start of the 21st Century has been marked by global demands for economic justice. From the wave that swept through Latin America in the early 2000s, and the Arab revolutions from 2011, to the Occupy and anti-austerity movements in Europe and North America, the last 20 years have witnessed the birth of a new type of mass mobilisation. 

Where are the Unions? compares, for the first time, the challenges faced by movements in Latin America, the Arab world and Europe. Workers’ strikes and protests played a critical role in these mass movements, yet their role is significantly underestimated in many narratives of these events. 

This book focuses on the complex interactions between organised workers, the unemployed, self-employed, youth, students and the state, and critically assesses the concept of the ‘precariat’. With contributions from across four continents, it is the most comprehensive look at the global context of mass mobilisation in the 21st Century.

Sian Lazar is currently a Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of El Alto, Rebel City: Self and Citizenship in Andean Bolivia (2008) and editor of The Anthropology of Citizenship: A Reader (2013). She is also joint editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies.


Where are the Unions?: Workers and Social Movements in Latin America, the Middle East and Europe is published in April 2017 by Zed Books, priced £19.99 | $29.95 | ISBN 9781783609895

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