Social movements and organised labour: Passions and interests looks at the left of the political spectrum. Its authors, Jürgen Grote and Claudius Wagemann, focus on two social and political groups that have so far been looked at as incompatible with each other, both with respect to their strategies and to their organisational structures: social movements and trade unions.
In the introduction and in the first section of the book, most contributors adopt an interest-based perspective, thus asking after the likelihood of a merger or an approximation of (immaterial) passions and (material) interests. The focus is on alliance-building and on processes of mutual learning across the established boundaries of more and less well-organised types of collective actors.
The second section consists of an encompassing empirical tour de force through Southern European countries where the crisis has had its most severe consequences in social, economic, and political terms – Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Partial inconsistencies notwithstanding, the authors conclude that there is much scope for the emergence of an anticapitalistic and truly democratic countermovement in the twilight of the present neoliberal order.