For a New Global Labour History: A View from Eastern Europe

Published: Jun 3, 2020
global labour history Eastern Europe capital formation scale processual analysis
Alina-Sandra Cucu
This article investigates the recent attempts to integrate Eastern Europe in global labour history as a unique opportunity to formulate an intellectual agenda that would place the region on the global map, but on its own analytical terms. Based on two interconnected research projects on industrial labour in socialist Romania, it argues that these integration efforts have to start with a systematic endeavour to bring labour history and the history of capital formation in the region together. The endeavour of articulating a truly global labour history from a specifically Eastern European angle requires us to reconsider the scale(s) at which we construct our narratives, moving away from an epistemological perspective that favours eventful fractures and towards a processual analysis of labour in the region.
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Author Biography
Alina-Sandra Cucu, Goldsmiths, University of London

Alina-Sandra Cucu is a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her first monograph, Planning Labour: Time and the Foundations of Industrial Socialism in Romania, was published in 2019 by Berghahn. Currently, she is conducting research on her second book-length project, titled Entangled Worlds of Labour: The Advance of Flexible Capitalism in Eastern Europe, an analysis of the incorporation of the Romanian car industry in global commodity chains since the mid-1960s, and an exploration of the profound impact of these transformations on workers’ biographical imaginary and notions of the “future”.

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