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Peter Waterman (1936-2017)

17 June

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Peter Waterman, the romantic rebel and eternal dissident and internationalist passed away on the night of 16 June 2017

Peter Waterman was born into a middle-class London Jewish Communist family, his father being at one time general manager of the major UK Communist bookstore, his mother the eventual author of two semi-autobiographical novels. After much Young Communist activity and a one-year course in journalism in London he became the English and Chief Sub-Editor of the monthly of the International Union of Students in Communist Prague (1955-8). Following compulsory UK military service (1959-60) he became a student at the union-identified Ruskin College, Oxford (1961-3), and then did a batchelor’s degree at the university itself (1964-5). Now with a wife and two small children, he worked as a labour educator for the World Federation of Trade Unions, again in Prague (1966-9). After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, 1968, he ‘left both the Communist World and the World of Communism’. He did a one-year Master’s in West African Studies, Birmingham (1969-70) and first became an academic at Ahmadu Bello University in Northern Nigeria (1970-72). From then until 1998 he taught at The Institute of Social Studies, in The Hague, first on Third World unions, later on labour and other social movements, their internationalisms and on (computer) communications in relation to such. He was editor of the Newsletter of International Labour Studies through the 1980s, and has been (co-)author of numerous books and articles, published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Korean, Japanese and Dutch. He played a major role in exchanges on ‘social movement unionism’ and the ‘new labour internationalisms’. More recently he had written his own autobiography ’From Coldwar Communism to the Global Emancipatory Movement: Itinerary of a Long-Distance Internationalist’ and had been involved with DemocraciaGlobal in Peru (where his longtime compañera, present wife, the international feminist writer/activist Virginia Vargas lives) with the free, online, social movement journal, Interface, and had been trying out the new online social movements project, Intercoll.

Peter will be sorely missed by all his comrades and friends

o o o

here is list of some writings by Peter Waterman:

Books, Edited Collections

  • Waterman, Peter and Ronaldo Munck (eds). 2000. Labour Worldwide in the Era of Globalization: Alternatives for Trade Unionism in the New World Order. Seoul (in Korean).
  • Waterman, Peter (ed). 2001. ‘Labour Rights in the Global Economy’, Working USA (Guest-Edited Special Issue), Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer. Pp. 9-86.
  • Waterman, Peter and Jane Wills (eds). 2001. ‘Space, Place and the New Labour Internationalisms’, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 305-592.
  • Waterman, Peter. Globalisation, Social Movements and the New Internationalisms. London/Washington: Continuum. 320 pp. (Paperback Edition, New Preface).
  • Waterman, Peter and Jane Wills (eds). Place, Space and the New Labour Internationalisms. Oxford: Blackwell. 300 pp.

Articles, Chapters, Working Papers, Etc

  • Waterman, Peter. 2000. ‘Exports and Imports: Civil Society and Globalisation’ (Review of Kees Biekart, ‘The Politics of Civil Society Building: European Private Aid Agencies and Democratic Transitions in Central America’), Biblio: A New Delhi Review of Books, May-June, pp. 22-3.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2000. ‘From an International Union Congress to an International Labour Dialogue: An Exchange between Peter Waterman, Global Solidarity Dialogue/Dialogo Solidaridad Global, and Bill Jordan, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. www.antenna.nl/~waterman/.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2000. ‘Is it Possible to Build Utopia in One Country?’ (Review of Leo Panitch and Colin Leys (eds), ’Socialist Register 2000’), Biblio: A New Delhi Review of Books, March-April, pp. 37-8.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2000. ’Den proletariske internationalismes geopstaen?’ (The Revival of Proletarian Internationalism?). Den Ny Verden (Copenhagen).
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘Capitalist Trade Privileges and Social Labour Rights’, Working USA (Peter Waterman, Guest-Edited Special Issue: ‘Labour Rights in the Global Economy), Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer. Pp. 70-86.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘Globalization from Below: The Power of Solidarity’ (Review of Jeremy Brecher, Tim Costello and Brendan Smith, Globalisation from Below), Working USA, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 142-8.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘Post-Communist Manifesto’ (Review of Jeremy Brecher, Tim Costello and Brendan Smith, Globalisation from Below), Biblio: A New Delhi Review of Books, Vol 6, Nos. 5-6, pp. 17-18.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘Sobre la exportación e importación de la sociedad civil en tiempos de globalización’, (On the Import and Export of Civil Society in Times of Globalisation) (Prize-winning essay in annual competition) Nueva Sociedad (Caracas), No. 171, pp. 120-31.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘The Problematic Past and Uncertain Future of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions’, International Labour and Working Class History. Vol. 59, Spring, pp. 125-32.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘Trade Union Internationalism in the Age of Seattle’, in Peter Waterman and Jane Wills (eds), ‘Place, Space and the New Internationalisms’, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, Vol. 33, No 1, pp. 312-36.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘Will US Hegemony Be Sustained’ (in Korean), Solidarity for Social Progress (Seoul), Nos. 1-2, pp.17-23.
  • Waterman, Peter. ‘In Memoriam: Arvind Das and the Working Classes in India, Biblio: A Review of Books (New Delhi). Vol. 6, Nos 7-8. Pp. 38-9.
  • Waterman, Peter. 2001. ‘Nueve reflexiones sobre un internacionalismo de comunicación en la era de Seattle’ (Nine Reflections on an Internationalism of Communication in the Era of Seattle’, in Iván Rodrigo Mendizábal and Leonela Cucurella (eds), Communicación en el tercer milenio: Nuevos scenarios y tendencias. Quito: Abya Yala. Pp. 247-65.
  • Waterman, Peter. ‘Trade Union Internationalism in the Age of Seattle’, in Peter Waterman and Jane Wills (eds). Place, Space and the New Internationalisms. Oxford: Blackwells.
  • Waterman, Peter. ‘The New Global Solidarity Is Already Not What it Used to Be’ (Preface), in Globalisation, Social Movements and the New Internationalisms. London/Washington: Continuum. 320 pp. 12 pp.
  • Waterman, Peter and Jane Wills. ‘Introduction: Space, Place and the New Labour Internationalisms: Beyond the Fragments’, in Peter Waterman and Jane Wills (eds). Place, Space and the New Internationalisms. Oxford: Blackwells.
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