Common Sense and 'National Emergency': Italian Labour and the Crisis
This paper has a twofold objective. First, it analyses recent developments in Italian industrial relations as an attempt by capital to destructure the collective bargaining system. Then, it seeks to explain the reasons for the relative acquiescence of organised labour to capital’s offensive. By adopting Bruff's concept of 'common sense', it is argued that labour and the left have internalised an assumption of economic vulnerability and the idea that in order to adjust Italy to economic change, real wages need to be kept sufficiently low. This particular intertwining between 'the national' and 'the international' is argued to be at the basis of labour's acceptance of punitive measures in times of 'economic emergency'.
Global Labour Journal's authors grant the journal permission to publish, but they retain copyright of their manuscripts. The Global Labour Journal applies a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License.
Under the terms of this licensing framework anyone is free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work, under the following conditions:
- Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
- Noncommercial Use: You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
- No Derivative Works: You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.
Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder, the author of the piece. The author's moral rights are retained in this license.