Call for Papers: Labor Movements and Unions and the Quest for Social Justice in the Arab World
The Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, in consultation with the International Labor Organization, are issuing a call for research papers on labor movements and unions and the quest for social justice in the Arab region.
In light of the social and economic problems that the Arab intifadas have highlighted after decades of neoliberal policies, unemployment, corruption, and social inequalities under Arab regimes, economic and social reform has become central to the demand of Arab citizens. What role have unions played in the struggle for social justice in the region? How autonomous and representative are these labor organizations? What challenges — imposed by national, regional, and international frameworks — face labor movements, and what opportunities exist - or could exist for them?
Research papers should include:
• A historical overview of labor movements and their progress, impact, and challenges in the past ten years;
• The legal, structural, and financial frameworks of unions;
• The local, regional and international environments’ influence on labor movements, and analytical recommendations for the future.
Each research paper should focus on one particular Arab country, with priority given to: Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Oman, Bahrain, Yemen, Occupied Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Applicants are asked to follow these guidelines:
- After carefully reviewing the research framework, submit: (1) a (maximum) two-page concept note that would include a discussion of the methodology; (2) a writing sample; and (3) the CV of the researcher (s). Collaboration between several researchers is welcome.
- Submissions can be in either Arabic or English.
- Submissions should be sent to: Dr. Rania Masri (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Ms. Leila Kabalan (email@example.com).
- Submissions are due by September 10, 2015
Researchers will be notified by September 25, 2015, and will be paid for the study. All researchers will be invited to a methodology workshop in Beirut, Lebanon in October or November. First drafts of the study are expected by February 2016, when they will be presented in a closed workshop for discussion
The expected output is a 10,000-word research report that will be co-published by the two Institutes.
F. The stances and activities of the trade union movement in the country during the last ten years pertaining to:
1. Human rights and the defense of trade union freedoms
2. Economic and social rights
3. Political positions
4. The dialogue about wages, prices, and insurance
5. Foreign labor
a) Strikes (in the workplace, partial strikes, general strikes, sit-ins, occupying workplaces, etc)
c) Direct advocacy
d) Advocacy through media
e) Collective bargaining at all levels (Institution, sector, nation)
f) Collective labor contracts (in any sectors or institutions)
g) Other activities
h) The transformations of trade unions activities and their causes
i) Evaluation of each of these activities
III - The trade union movement and the regional climate (Independence, Collaboration, and Connection)
A. Authorities and new strategies developed by in the past ten years
B. Political Parties
C. Associations and non-governmental organizations
D. Civil society organizations and monitors directly involved in labor issues and trade union
E. The case of the tripartite and bilateral partnership in the country under study
F. The impact of the trade union movement and its participation in organizations
IV – Trade union movements and their relationship with regional and international institutions
A. The assignment of institutions
B. Evaluation of the nature of the relationship and its outcomes
C. The impact of international and regional policies on trade union and labor movements
V – General evaluation and recommendations for trade union movement activities in each country based on all of the above (I-IV)
A. New and forthcoming challenges
B. New and potential strategic opportunities
C. Suggestions for interventions and support to strengthen the role of the labor movement in the quest for social justice