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Franco Barchiesi

Franco Barchiesi

Franco Barchiesi

Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Studies


614 292-0498

486D University Hall
230 North Oval Mall
Columbus, Ohio

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Areas of Expertise

  • South African Politics and History
  • African Social Movements
  • Labor Studies
  • Critical Theory
  • Postcolonialism


  • PH.D., Sociology (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, 2006)
  • MA, BA/HONS, Sociology (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, 1997)
  • BA, Politics (University of Bologna, Italy, 1992)

Professor Franco Barchiesi's latest book is "Precarious Liberation: Workers, the State, and Contested Social Citizenship in Postapartheid South Africa" (State University of New York Press and University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2011). The book is the winner of the 2012 CLR James Award of the Working Class Studies Association for best Published Book for Academic or General Audiences in working-class studies. Barchiesi has also edited (with Tom Bramble) the book "Rethinking the Labour Movement in the 'New South Africa'" (London: Ashgate, 2003). Professor Barchiesi is the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor Award at the Ohio State University and in 2008 he has received the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship (Article) Award from the American Sociological Association, Labor and Labor Movements Section. His current research interests are in comparing modalities and discourses of employment in relation to processes of state formation and subaltern resistance in Southern Africa, the mid-Atlantic United States, and the Caribbean between the nineteenth and the twentieth century. These issues are addressed in his current research project, provisionally titled "Liberal Whiteness and Its Other: Work, State Formation, and Conflict in Colonial and Settler Societies, 1870s-1920s", for which he is also a Visiting Research Associate in the Faculty of Humanities (School of Social Sciences) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa). Professor Barchiesi's publications include: “Precarious Liberation: A Rejoinder.” South African Review of Sociology 43/1 (2012): 99-106. “Migrant Labor.” In Encyclopedia of South Africa, edited by Sean Jacobs and Krista Johnson, 200-04 (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2011). “Informality and Casualization as Challenges for South Africa’s Industrial Unionism: The Case of the East Rand/Ekurhuleni Region in the 1990s.” African Studies Quarterly 11/2&3 (2010): 67-85. “Wage Labor, Citizenship, and Social Discipline.” In Zuma’s Own Goal. Losing South Africa’s ‘War on Poverty’, edited by Brij Maharaj, Ashwin Desai, and Patrick Bond, 191-212 (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2010). “COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions).” In International Encyclopedia of Revolutions and Protest, edited by Immanuel Ness, 874-77 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009). “Afrique du Sud: Débats autour de l’idée d’allocation universelle.” In Retour de l’Etat. Pour quelles politiques sociales?, edited by Laurent Delcourt, 85-104(Paris: Éditions Syllepse; Louvain: Centre Tricontinental, 2009). “That Melancholic Object of Desire. Work and Official Discourse before and after Polokwane.” The Johannesburg Salon, Vol. 1, edited by Lara Allen and Achille Mbembe: 50-54 (2009). “Hybrid Social Citizenship and the Normative Centrality of Wage Labor in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Mediations 24/1 (2009): 53-67. “Wage Labor, Precarious Employment, and Social Inclusion in the Making of South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Transition.” African Studies Review 51/2 (2008): 119-42. “Privatization and the Historical Trajectory of ‘Social Movement Unionism’: A Case Study of Municipal Workers in Johannesburg (South Africa).” International Labor and Working Class History 71 (2007): 50-69. “South African Debates on the Basic Income Grant: Wage Labour and the Post-Apartheid Social Policy.” Journal of Southern African Studies 33/3 (2007): 561-575. “Labour and Social Citizenship in Colonial and Postcolonial Modernity: South African Perspectives in a Continental Context.” Review. Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations 30/1 (2007): 19-43. “Capitalist Mode of Production” (Vol.1: 445-47); “Asiatic Mode of Production” (Vol.1: 187-88); “Feudal Mode of Production” (Vol.3: 133-35); “Class Consciousness” (Vol.1: 571-72.) In International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd Edition, edited by William Darity, Jr. (Editor in Chief) (Detroit: MacMillan Reference USA, 2007). “Globalization on Trial. Review of Bamako, by Abderrahmane Sissako.” New Labor Forum 16/3 (2007): 184-187. “Classes, Multitudes and the Politics of Community Movements in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” In Challenging Hegemony. Social Movements and the Quest for a New Humanism in South Africa, edited by Nigel Gibson, 161-194 (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2006). “Commodification, Economic Restructuring, and the Changing Urban Geography of Labor in Post-Apartheid South Africa: The Case of Gauteng Province, 1991-2001.” Urban Forum 17/2 (2006): 93-124. “Class, Social Movements and the Transformation of the South African Left in the Crisis of ‘National Liberation’.” Historical Materialism 12/4 (2004): 327-353. “Beyond the State and Civil Society. Labor Movements and Economic Adjustment in African Transitions: South Africa and Nigeria Compared.” In Contested Terrains and Constructed Categories: Contemporary Africa in Focus, edited by George Bond and Nigel Gibson. 145-172 (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2002). (with Bridget Kenny) “From Workshop to Wasteland: Deindustrialisation and Fragmentation of the Black Working Class on the East Rand (South Africa), 1990-99.” International Review of Social History 47/Supplement (2002): 35-63. “Review Essay: Engaging the State and Business. The Labour Movement and Co-determination in South Africa, edited by Glenn Adler (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 2000).” African Sociological Review 5/1 (2001): 80-89. “Transnational Capital, Urban Globalisation and Cross-Border Solidarity: The Case of the South African Municipal Workers.” Antipode 33/3 (2001): 384-406. “The Public Sector Strikes in South Africa: A Trial of Strength.” Monthly Review 51/5 (1999): 15-19. “Kelvinator: Restructuring, Collapse and Struggle.” South African Labour Bulletin 23/6 (2009): 65-70. “Economic Adjustment, Political Institutionalisation and Social Marginalisation: COSATU and the First Democratic Government (1994-1999).” Transformation 38 (2009): 20-48. "Restructuring, Flexibility and the Politics of Workplace Subjectivity. A Worker Inquiry in the South African Car Industry.” Rethinking Marxism 10/4 (1998): 105-133. "Trade Unions and Organizational Restructuring in the South African Automobile Industry. A Critique of the Co-Determination Thesis.” African Sociological Review 2/2 (1998): 47-76. "Delivery from Below, Resistance from Above. Electricity and the Politics of Struggle over Social Needs in Tembisa.” Debate. Voices from the South African Left 2/1 (1998): 12-27. “Nigeria’s Contested Democratization: Adjustment, Authoritarianism, and Civil Society.” Indicator South Africa 15/3 (1998): 81-88. “Labour, Neoliberalism and Democratic Politics in Nigeria and South Africa: A Comparative Overview.” Labour, Capital and Society/Travail, Capital et societe’ 30/2 (1997): 170-225. "South Africa in Transition: Scenarios Facing Organized Labor.” Critical Sociology 22/3 (1996): 79-112. "The Social Construction of Labour in the Struggle for Democracy: The Case of Post-Independence Nigeria.” Review of African Political Economy 69 (1996): 349-369. (with Elsa van Huyssteen) "Islands on the Power Map. The New South African Constitution and the Social Legacy of Apartheid.” Africa (Rome) 51/4 (1996): 475-498. (with Glenn Adler and Karl Gostner) "Unions without Comrades. Democratisation, Structural Adjustment and the Labour Movement in Zimbabwe” South African Labour Bulletin 20/3 (1996): 83-87. "Orientamenti metodologici e bibliografici per lo studio del sindacalismo indipendente sudafricano" [Methodological and bibliographical orientations for the study of the South African independent trade unionism], Africa (Rome) 48/1 (1993): 70-91. "I sindacati indipendenti sudafricani e la democratizzazione delle relazioni industriali: introduzione storica al problema." [The South African independent trade unions and the democratization of industrial relations: historical introduction to the problem] Lavoro e diritto (Bologna) 7/4 (1993): 687-719.

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