The first issue of Workers of the World. International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflict was online at the end of June 2012. The journal is an important step to consolidate the initiative, decided at the Lisbon Labour Conference in March 2011, of creating an international association of researchers and institutions involved in the study of this subject.
The working class repeatedly continues to make its presence known and by doing so refutes the pessimistic predictions about the end of social conflicts that were popular in past decades. Different forms of popular struggle emerged in response to deteriorating living conditions, precarious employment of labour, and the change or elimination of social and labour protection legislation. In addition to the renewed labour movement in its classical forms of collective action and organization through strikes and unions, we saw the emergence or re-creation of movements of the unemployed or underemployed, of the landless and the homeless, just to mention some of the most widely known.
Despite numerous attempts to theoretically declare the end of social classes, strikes, and social movements, the inherent social contradictions in society and workers’ own actions constitute imposing evidence to the contrary. Industrial conflicts repeatedly have intersected with other social conflicts and ethnic, gender and generational issues complexity and renew interest in collective action, bringing in new theoretical and analytical challenges to researchers.
Workers of the World. International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflict aims to be innovative. This journal aims to stimulate global studies on labour and social conflicts in an interdisciplinary, global, long term historical and non Eurocentric perspective. It intends to move away from traditional forms of methodological nationalism and conjectural studies, adopting an explicitly critical and interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, it will publish empirical research and theoretical discussions that address strikes and social conflicts in an innovative and rigorous manner. It will also promote dialogue between scholars from different fields and different countries and disseminate analyzes on different socio-cultural realities, to give visibility and centrality to this theme.