Throughout history and in every geographical location, the rise and fall of industry, which impact the fate of large populations, are tied to the development and cultural entanglement of particular models that are articulated with political power. Models are understood as knowledge devices – expert, theoretical, practical and commonsense – that are embedded in cultural and social environments and designed through struggles at various scales.

This book results from the collaboration of an interdisciplinary team bringing together specialists in anthropology, geography, sociology, economics, political science, mathematics and engineering around the theme of ‘Models and their Effects on Development Paths’. Based on empirical research conducted on the heavy industries, Industry and Work in Contemporary Capitalism addresses how models that inform the organization of work and production and are created by powerful actors may diverge from, overlap with, or contradict the models articulated by less powerful actors on the ground, and how they are connected across material and cultural spaces. Careful observation of industrial work and production as they unfold in and across specific localities and affects people’s livelihoods is complemented by analysis of how models circulate, through which channels of power, which institutional entities, which political connections.

This volume explores an extensive theoretical terrain and a number of empirical cases that show, from different perspectives, how ideas about the economy, about work and industry, materialize in specific practices and interventions that affect people’s livelihoods.

chapter 1|16 pages

Industry and work in contemporary capitalism

Models, markets and crisis in the global system
BySusana Narotzky, Victoria Goddard

part Part I|62 pages

Models – what they are and what they do

chapter 2|31 pages

Isomorphism and local interests in the diffusion of global policies

An enquiry into privatization policy adoption using computer modelling and simulation
ByArianna Dal Forno, Edoardo Mollona

chapter 3|14 pages

Modelling the economy with language 1

ByDouglas R. Holmes

chapter 4|15 pages

Class and social order

Political consequences of the move from class to culture 1
ByDavid Ost

part Part II|40 pages

Scale and disjuncture

chapter 5|10 pages

Steel industry, geography and regional development

Evolving and travelling concepts 1
ByCostis Hadjimichalis, Yorgos Melissourgos

chapter 6|14 pages

Learning from Minas Gerais

Flows of capital, production, and managerial models within the steel industry
ByGustavo Lins Ribeiro

part Part III|32 pages

Innovation, technologies and power

chapter 9|15 pages

Politics for industrial machines

Techno-political transitions in a Spanish steel plant
ByElena González-Polledo

part Part IV|35 pages

Policies and politics

chapter 10|16 pages

Civil society, global governance and the circulation of models

ByFlávia Lessa de Barros

chapter 11|12 pages

Spain's labour reforms

Temporary work, flexibility and disciplining the working class 1
ByUbaldo Martínez Veiga