Volume 58 part 1 (April 2013)


Nandini Gooptu. Servile Sentinels of the City: Private Security Guards, Organized Informality and Labour in Interactive Services in Globalized India
Through a study of private security guards in urban India, this paper investigates emerging labour processes in the increasingly dominant private corporate sector of Third World rising economies, in the wake of economic liberalization and globalization. To meet the escalating need for labour in interactive services, a vast cadre of low-paid, casual workers has emerged, working under a regime of organized informality. Recruitment and training here are systematically institutionalized and formalized by private agencies, with the imprimatur of the state, but employment relations remain informal and insecure. The paper examines forms of labour subordination and a culture of servility at the workplace, as well as embodied work and emotional labour that characterize low-end service jobs. The paper shows how workers' political subjectivity and their perception of class difference and social identity are shaped by cultural and social interaction at work and how these relate to wider democratic politics and citizenship.

Magaly Rodríguez García. Constructing Labour Regionalism in Europe and the Americas, 1920s-1970s
This article aims to provide an analysis of the emergence of regional labour organisations in the immediate post-war period. By means of a comparative examination of the decentralised structure of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) in Europe and the Americas, the author attempts to defend the argument that labour regionalism was neither a mere Anglo-American strategy to dominate the non-communist labour movement nor an administrative novelty to make international organisations more efficient, but predominantly an innovative arrangement to solve disagreements within the ICFTU itself. As such, this study is an attempt to fill a lacuna in the scholarly literature, which has given only scant attention to the origins of the regional level of international labour organisation.

Jessica Gerrard. 'Little Soldiers' for Socialism: Childhood and Socialist Politics in the British Socialist Sunday School Movement
This paper examines the ways in which turn-of-the-century British socialists enacted socialism for children through the British Socialist Sunday School movement. It focuses in particular on the movement’s emergence in the 1890s and the first three decades of operation. Situated amidst a growing international field of comparable socialist children’s initiatives, Socialist Sunday Schools attempted to connect their local activity of children’s education to the broader politics of international socialism. In this discussion I explore the attempt to make this connection, including the endeavour to transcend party differences in the creation of a nonpartisan international children’s socialist movement, the co-option of traditional Sunday School rituals, and the instantiation that socialist childhood cultures was the responsibility of both men and women. Defending their existence against criticism from conservative campaigners, the state, and sections of the left, Socialist Sunday Schools mobilised a complex and contested culture of socialist childhood.