In the numerous studies of early twenty- first- century protest movements, the role of labor is often ignored. The reasons are many: the fascination with “new” social movements and subjects, the prevalence of ideologies that downplay the importance of class in people’s lives, and justified disenchantment with bureaucratic union leaders, to name a few. Much commentary on recent social movements also depicts them as spontaneous and leaderless uprisings in which social media substitutes for organization. The result is that “organised class-based resistance to capitalism has slipped out of view in both scholarly work and political commentary,” as Sian Lazar notes in her introduction to this ambitious anthology (8).

The volume includes case studies from eleven different countries, focusing on recent labor movements and their proximate historical roots over the last two decades. A central theme is the wide diversity of labor’s political positions and roles. Many unions have responded to...

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