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Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics : NAFTA and the Politics of Labor Transnationalism - Tamara Kay

Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics

NAFTA and the Politics of Labor Transnationalism

Hardcover Published: 31st January 2011
ISBN: 9780521762878
Number Of Pages: 338

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When NAFTA went into effect in 1994, many feared it would intensify animosity among North American unions, lead to the scapegoating of Mexican workers and immigrants, and eclipse any possibility for cross-border labor cooperation. But far from polarizing workers, NAFTA unexpectedly helped stimulate labor transnationalism among key North American unions and erode union policies and discourses rooted in racism. The emergence of labor transnationalism in North America presents compelling political and sociological puzzles: how did NAFTA, the concrete manifestation of globalization processes in North America, help deepen labor solidarity on the continent? In addition to making the provocative argument that global governance institutions can play a pivotal role in the development of transnational social movements, this book suggests that globalization need not undermine labor movements: collectively, unions can help shape how the rules governing the global economy are made.

"In the bourgeoning interdisciplinary field of transnational studies, Professor Kay once again has demonstrated that she is the leading sociologist of transnationalism of her generation with this pathbreaking book. A must-read!" -Sanjeev Khagram, University of Washington
"Challenging the conventional wisdom that economic globalization has left national labor movements isolated and defenseless, Kay argues - almost heretically in the case of NAFTA - that regional economic integration at the top can also spark transnational solidarity from below. In a classic case of unintended consequences, we see how NAFTA, through its governance institutions and side agreements, provided an opening for savvy organizers to build a more inclusive and unified North American labor movement to resist global capital's unrelenting `race to the bottom.' NAFTA and the Politics of Labor Transnationalism is a superb study that offers important lessons for scholars and activists alike." -Howard Kimeldorf, University of Michigan
"Anybody concerned with social movements in the 21st century, and especially the prospects for labor transnationalism, needs to read this book. Tamara Kay shows why and how a few U.S. and Mexican unions were able to turn NAFTA, which they had viewed as a threat, into an opportunity for new cross-border strategies. The results point to promising ways forward for global movements." -Chris Tilly, Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Los Angeles

Introduction: NAFTA and labor transnationalism
The Emergence of Transnationalism
Labor nationalism: diplomacy and distance among unions prior to NAFTA
NAFTA as catalyst: constituting transnational actors and interests
Constituting transnational labor rights
Seizing the opportunity NAFTA provided
Variations in Transnationalism
Missing the opportunity NAFTA provided
Explaining variation in the emergence of labor transnationalism
Conclusions
Global governance and labor transnationalism
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521762878
ISBN-10: 0521762871
Series: Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 338
Published: 31st January 2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.56