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- PublicationIntroduction: Politicizing the TransnationalLabor movements have always found it difficult to reveal and transform the social relations that constitute markets. The growing transnational movements of goods, capital, and services in themselves have therefore not triggered closer trade union cooperation across borders. Transnational collective action also requires conscious choices and a mutual understanding that solidarity across borders is warranted. For this reason, this special issue of Labor History assesses the role that politicization processes play in triggering transnational union action.
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- PublicationTransnational Solidarity? The European Working Class in the Eurozone CrisisEuropean labour movements are under severe pressure as a result of the global financial and eurozone crises, which have been used by capital to attack unions and workers' rights. In this essay, we will assess the response of European labour movements to this attack and discuss to what extent relations of transnational solidarity have been established in this process. Germany has been at the core of discussions about the eurozone crisis. While peripheral European Union (EU) member states have run into severe problems, the German economy appears as the clear winner, the example to follow due to its booming exports. As it is the largest national economy within the EU, what happens in Germany has also wider implications for the rest of the EU. Hence, we will specifically focus on the response by the German labour movement to the crisis. What has been more important for German unions solidarity with workers elsewhere or solidarity with one's own employer? The analysis of German unions will be complemented by brief discussions of struggles in Europe's southern periphery. In the conclusion we will reflect on the response by labour movements at the European level to establish whether unions have been able to go beyond their traditional national environment in the search for new strategies against the attack of capital.