Sarajevo, 27.-30.11.2014

Otvoreni Univerzitet



Vaska Emanuilova Gallery, the fridge & Social Center Xaspel








Stara mestna elektrarna, Ljubljana 29.4-03.05.




Ljubljana, Stara mestna elektrarna

"Samo jednom se ljubi"

17.10.2014 | 17-18.10.2014 net.culture club MaMa, Zagreb
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
Until not too long ago, even amongst parts of the...

29.04.2014 | Stara mestna elektrarna, Ljubljana 29.4-03.05.


The Insititute for labour studies’ May day school 2014


The Insititute for labour studies’ May day school 2014
30. April – 3. May, 2014
Slovenia, Ljubljana, Stara mestna elektrarna – Elektro Ljubljana

Today, the European periphery is a setting of intensive class struggles. A brief overview of these struggles gives us the following polarity. On one side, there is comprador bourgeosie, a parasitic class acting as the local executor of the instructions of international financial institutions, joined by a surge of extreme right movements. On the other side, there is fragmented workforce that is mostly incapable of unified political action despite ostensibly univocal opposition against neoliberal policies.

It is not enough to show that one obvious manifestation of class struggle today is the neoliberal attack on the historical achievements of workers’ struggle (the vertical dimension of class struggle: labour/capital), that is, the achievements whose defence is a common denominator of different forms of revolt against neoliberalism. More attention should be given to the conflicts and oppositions which take place within both the exploiting and the exploited social groupings themselves (the horizontal dimension of class struggle).

For example, policies of central European political and financial institutions appear as a unified and unwavering strategy to destroy the historical achievements of workers’ struggles. And yet there exist conflicts between core European states themselves as well as various agents of capital within individual states. Neoliberal policies have even more contradictory effects in those social groups that suffer the worst consequences of austerity and restrictictions of democratic liberties. Such effects include the lack of unity among unionised and non-unionised workforce. Moreover, both in the public and the private sector, solidarity is waning even within unionised workforce, leading to its political dissolution into various interest groups.

We can thus identify a number of social groups that are equally subordinated to the agents of capital, but all too often act independently of one another and do not recognise common interest as a ground for unified action. It is obvious that the basic conflict of contemporary societies, the one between labour and capital, cannot be observed in its pure form; and even less can it be used as a basis for political action. The concepts of from historical materialism and the notions of radical politics such as the working class, workers, bourgeoisie and capitalists do not have a fixed meaning – their content is transformed through class struggle. Intentional policies of deindustrialisation are changing the modes of existence of the workforce; the introduction of the logic of capital into public sectors is creating capitalists where they by definition should not exist; the role of organisations that used to represent the interests of the working class is radically changing. At the same time, interclass alliances are being realigned, with new institutional arrangements enabling new compromises between labour and capital. The disunity of the workforce is a clear proof of the ideological hegemony of neoliberalism. Hence arises the question of how can this hegemony persists despite the obvious catastrophic consequences of austerity measures on the periphery. This question can only be answered by a detailed analysis of the anatomy of the countries of the European periphey; what we need is an analysis of the antagonistic relations between the various social groups and their mobilising potential.

The 2014 May Day School of the Institute of Labour Studies (Ljubljana) will address the following topics: theoretical problems of a definition of classes in contemporary capitalism; ideological notions in public discourse and academic knowledge that mistify the class character of contemporary societies; relations between elites and the subordinated at the level of the EU, and the phenomenon of comprador bourgeoisie; class structures of individual peripheral European countries: relations between politics, economy, and institutions of culture, science, education and media; the fragmentation of the workforce and the class character of the workforce in various sectors of peripheral European economies (creative industry, agriculture, public sectors, classical industry).

The 2014 May Day School of the Institute of Labour Studies will ask the following key question: Which classes exist on the European periphery today? The answer to this question cannot be purely academic. Its aim will be to identify the strongest and the weakest links of the concrete class alliances that reproduce the status quo at the expense of working people.

Joining us at the conference will be: Guglielmo Carchedi, Jane Hardy, Joseph Choonara, Ursula Huws, Chris O’Kane, Andrea Jovanović, Dora Levačič, Domagoj Mihaljević, Goran Marković, Anej Korsika, Marko Kostanić, Ognjen Kojanić, Florin Poenaru, Kire Vasilev, Madlen Nikolova, Igor Vobič, Katja Praznik, Primož Krašovec, Goran Đulić, Marko Lovec, Sašo Furlan, Tibor Rutar, Anita Tolić, Stane Kavčič.




May Day School 2014
Classes on the Periphery
30.4. – 3.5.2014

Wednesday, April 30th

10:00 – 12:00: Jane Hardy – What is happening to international capital? New Divisions of Labour in Global Capitalism
12:30 – 14:30: I. Panel discussion – Marxist Theories of Classes:

Tibor Rutar - Marxian Theory of Class: Recentring Exploitation and Class Struggle
Chris O’Kane - The specific social characters that the social production process stamps on individuals’; On The constitution of Classes in Capital as ‘products of these specific social relations of production

17:00 – 19:00 II. Panel discussion Critique of Contemporary Ideologies:

Sašo Furlan – Class relations and impersonal domination in capitalism
Joseph Choonara – Marx, Class and Contemporary Capitalism

Thursday, May 1st

10:00 – 12:00: Guglielmo Carchedi – Capitalism in the Age of Internet

12:30 – 14:30: III. Panel discussion - Women and Class:

 Andrea Jovanović – Yugoslavia Antifascist Front of women (AFŽ): legacy, lessons and some insights
 Dora Levačić – Economic position of women in ex-Yugoslavian countries

17:00 – 19:00: Ursula Huws – Labour and Class in the Internet Age
Friday, May 2nd

10:00 – 12:00: IV. Panel discussion Restoration of Capitalism and Class Recomposition: The Cases of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina

Anita Tolić - Transition to Capitalist Economy and Changes in Class Composition of Post-socialist Slovenia
Domagoj Mihaljević - Socio-economic structural transformation and class recomposition in Croatia
Goran Marković – Interrelation Between The Bosnian Type Of Transition To Capitalism And Working Class’ Political Potency

12:30 – 14:30: V. Panel discussion – Local historical blocs: Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia:

Anej Korsika - Some notes towards understanding the class situation in Slovenia:  From Class Compromise to Class Struggle
Marko Kostanić – Historic bloc in Croatia – from disintegration of Yugoslavia to EU periphery
Ognjen Kojanić - Disciplined, Dispossessed, and/or Disorganized: Three Cases from Post-Socialist Serbia

17:00 – 19:00: VI. Panel discussion – Local historical blocs: Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia:

Madlen Nikolova - The reproduction of the neoliberal consensus and the formation of the so-called “creative class” in contemporary Bulgaria
Florin Poenaru - Class struggle in Romania in historical perspective
Kire Vasilev - Macedonia, the ‘non integrated’ periphery of Europe

Saturday, May 3rd

10:00 – 12:00: Branko Bembič – The shifting balance of class forces in Slovenia

12:30 – 14:30: VII. Panel discussion: Case studies of Slovenian media industry, culture industry and academic field:

Katja Praznik - Welfare or precarity? The History of Cultural Legislation for Artistic Labor and the Escalation of Class Differences in the Cultural System: The Slovenian case
Primož Krašovec - Room for class in contemporary Slovenian academic field
Igor Vobić - Online Newsworkers – at the Periphery of Journalism

17:00 – 19:00: VIII. Panel discussion: Class differentiation of the peasant population: the cases of Slovenia and Croatia:

Goran Đulić - Perspectives of the agrarian sector in Croatia
Marko Lovec - Slovene agricultural production structure, the problem of class consciousness in agriculture and the role of the Common agricultural policy of the EU
Stane Kavčič - The size structure of agricultural holdings in Slovenia and their importance for Slovene food balance

For more information, please visit http://www.delavske-studije.si