Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 15
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Mosley, Layna and Singer, David A. 2015. Migration, Labor, and the International Political Economy. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 18, Issue. 1, p. 283.

    Goldfield, Michael and Bromsen, Amy 2013. The Changing Landscape of US Unions in Historical and Theoretical Perspective. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 16, Issue. 1, p. 231.

    Owen, Erica 2013. Unionization and Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment. International Interactions, Vol. 39, Issue. 5, p. 723.

    Camou, Michelle 2012. Capacity and Solidarity: Foundational Elements in the Unionization Strategy for Immigrant Day Labourers. International Migration, Vol. 50, Issue. 2, p. 41.

    Hojnacki, Marie Kimball, David C. Baumgartner, Frank R. Berry, Jeffrey M. and Leech, Beth L. 2012. Studying Organizational Advocacy and Influence: Reexamining Interest Group Research. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 15, Issue. 1, p. 379.

    Walsh, Jane Schuchert 2012. A ‘New’ Social Movement: US Labor and the Trends of Social Movement Unionism. Sociology Compass, Vol. 6, Issue. 2, p. 192.

    2012. Liberating Learning.

    Wilson, Shaun and Spies-Butcher, Benjamin 2011. When Labour Makes a Difference: Union Mobilization and the 2007 Federal Election in Australia. British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 49, p. s306.

    AHLQUIST, JOHN S. 2010. Building Strategic Capacity: The Political Underpinnings of Coordinated Wage Bargaining. American Political Science Review, Vol. 104, Issue. 01, p. 171.

    Flavin, Patrick Pacek, Alexander C. and Radcliff, Benjamin 2010. Labor Unions and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from New Data. Social Indicators Research, Vol. 98, Issue. 3, p. 435.

    Anner, Mark 2009. Two Logics of Labor Organizing in the Global Apparel Industry. International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 53, Issue. 3, p. 545.

    Pitt-Catsouphes, Marcie Sano, Joelle and Matz-Costa, Christina 2009. Unions' Responsiveness to the Aging of the Workforce. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, Vol. 24, Issue. 1-2, p. 125.

    Vanhuysse, Pieter and Sulitzeanu‐Kenan, Raanan 2009. Teacher's PAT? Multiple‐role principal–agent theory, education politics, and bureaucrat power. Critical Studies in Education, Vol. 50, Issue. 2, p. 129.

    Kinsey, Barbara Sgouraki 2006. Militant rhetoric and the business cycle: the case of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization. Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 37, Issue. 2, p. 111.

    Kling, Joseph 2003. Poor People's Movements 25 Years Later: Historical Context, Contemporary Issues. Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 1, Issue. 04,


Organizing Power: The Prospects for an American Labor Movement

  • Margaret Levi (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2003

A comparative perspective on labor unions reveals that the best of all worlds for the workers is coordinated bargaining at thenational level and significant rank-and-file engagement at the local level. But the achievement of national and coordinated bargaining is an unrealistic goal in the foreseeable future in the United States. What American labor can do, however, is to become once again a social movement. In order for organized labor to play its critical role as a countervailing power within the American political system, there must be intensified organizing, internal democratization, increased electoral and lobbying clout, and social-movement unions willing to mobilize with others and, if necessary, on the streets.This paper was originally prepared for presentation at Theme Panel 7, “Politics of Labor,” at the 2002 meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in Boston. The commentators at APSA—Glenn Adler, Ron Blackwell, Sakhela Buhlungu, and Linda Kaboolian —gave me generous and insightful feedback. So did Frances Fox Piven, Robby Stern, Victoria Murillo, Katrina Pflaumer, George Lovell, Jennifer Hochschild, Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Wolfgang Streeck, Fritz Scharpf, Bruce Ackerman, and four anonymous reviewers. I particularly want to thank my two most trusty critical readers: John Ahlquist, my research assistant, and David Olson, my long-term colleague and collaborator. I did not always take their advice but always appreciated it.Previous books include Of Rule and Revenue; Consent, Dissent, and Patriotism; and the co-authored Analytic Narratives

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *