The editors consider workers councils as the definitive form of democratic labor control and a crucial element of social transformation. Worker councils, a form envisioned by leading political and historical theorists from Marx to Lenin to Gramsci, is seen as worker control over the economic resources vital to their lives. Worker countrol as concept and practrice has had a prodigious history as one of the most dramatic forms of radical working-class action against corporate domination. From the origin of the industrial revolution to the present neoliberal capitalist era, workers councils have been recognized as a tangible means of both expressing working-class radicalism and grasping and consolidating power and control from the ruling class following labor organizing and direct insurgency.
The editors Dario Azzellini and Immanuel Ness are seeking submissions for a special collection on worker councils and worker control from a comparative and historical perspective. The editors consider worker councils as a significant form of challenging capitalism and obtaining and securing worker power over workplaces and communities. We are seeking essays that demonstrate how worker councils have engendered and advanced perceptible gains for labor. We also seek essays that examine the endogenous and exogenous state and capitalist forces aligned against workers councils and democracy under labor control. We encourage submissions that are both contemporary and historical, including case studies and theoretical essays that range over any geographical space (including international, cultural, country, or regional focus).
The editors are seeking academically rigorous essays that also are accessible to workers, trade unionists, and activists. We encourage submissions that are free of jargon and rooted in historical experience. The culmination of the essays will be a book on workers councils published in many languages that embraces theory and action and easily grasped by a wide range of readers seeking democratic and socialist transformation through workers councils.
Possible topics for submission may include the following:
· Theoretical and philosophical consideration of worker councils and worker control
· Historical case studies of worker councils drawn from throughout the world
· Contemporary regional and national examples of workers councils
· Worker councils as a means toward revolutionary transformation
The editors view the questions related to workers councils as praxis as essential to reclaiming democratic participation from capitalist forms of domination in general and, and particularly significant in the contemporary era of financial crisis. As such, please ensure that the essays are accessible to a broad range of readers, and offer a tangible contribution to research and praxis of social transformation.
Proposals for essays are welcome and are due and will be accepted through August 15, 2009. Manuscript submissions are due November 15, 2009, with anticipated publication in early 2010. Essays should range from 5,000 to 7,500 words in length, although the editors will consider shorter or longer manuscripts on a case by case basis. Essays will be published in a volume to appear in several languages. The editors have already secured publication agreements from publishers for this work in several languages.
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