In Chinese - The Power Resources Approach: Developments and Challenges

The English version of this Introduction to the Special Issue on Acquiring and Applying Power Resources, guest edited by Stefan Schmalz, Carmen Ludwig and Edward Webster, can be found in Volume 9, Issue 2 of the Global Labour Journal.

A Chinese translation by LIU Jiangzhou appeared in Labour Union Studies, a Chinese-language journal of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), in November 2020. A PDF of the paper can be accessed at



In the discussion on trade union renewal, the power resources approach (PRA) has emerged  as a research heuristic. The PRA is founded on the basic premise that organised labour can successfully defend its interests by collective mobilisation of power resources. This idea has significantly shaped the way scholars are dealing with the issue of union revitalisation and labour conflict, as studies from different world regions have examined union renewal as a process of utilising existing power resources while attempting to develop new ones. This editorial introduces the analytical tool of power resources by analysing its development and by presenting its basic tenets. In what follows, we will first describe the origins of the power resources approach. In the next section we will present a specific variety of the approach applied in this Special Issue. After that, we will discuss the relevance of the strategic context in applying the power resources approach by referring to the papers in this Special Issue, and finally we will discuss the mobilisation of labour power in societies in a state of fragile stability and in marginalised communities in developed countries.
Key words: trade union renewal; the force of labour; the power resources approach; strategic choice