This post is part of a feature on “How Capitalists Think,” moderated and edited by Patrick Neveling (University of Bergen) and Tijo Salverda (University of Cologne).
This contribution focuses on the decades-long struggle of workers and citizens in an industrial town in Northern Italy against the hazardous asbestos cement industry. It analyses the dividing lines that emerged in these social struggles at two particular moments. First, it examines the trade unions’ struggles for improved safety measures and the subsequent demand to shut down the entire asbestos cement factory because of the environmental risk it represented for the whole region. Second, it analyses the legal struggle that followed, when the social movement brought the claim for justice to the courts, demanding punishment for the former main investors.
This post is part of a series on the Latin American pink tide, moderated and edited by Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmiths, University of London).
In February 2016 Bolivian President Evo Morales, an indigenous Aymara and former coca grower, lost his bid to amend the Constitution to allow him to stand for a third consecutive term. This was a blow to Morales, who has won re-election twice (in 2009 and 2014), and has triumphed in two previous referendums. Commentators saw the defeat as evidence that the pink tide in Bolivia is receding. But such evaluations are premature; 49 percent of the population still voted in favor of the amendment, and while members of the “no” camp might want to see change at the top, they don’t necessarily want a return to neoliberal orthodoxy. The Morales administration has experienced its fair share of corruption, conflict, division, and poor planning, but on balance most Bolivians have done better under a left-leaning government.