Katy Fox-Hodess
At the Dockers Club, Belfast, Northern Ireland; photo credit: Sergio Sousa

I completed my doctorate in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley in 2018 and am employed as a lecturer in Work, Employment, and Organisations (WEO) at the University of Sheffield. In addition, I am a member of the Centre for Decent Work (CDW) and an Associate Fellow at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI). My research and teaching interests include industrial relations, globalization, political sociology, political economy and social theory. My current writing projects draw on the work of Nicos Poulantzas to develop a non-orthodox theory of worker power able to account for its simultaneous grounding in economy, state and ideology.

My PhD dissertation, Dockworkers of the World Unite: Transnational Class Formation and the New Labor Internationalism, examined the construction of ‘bottom-up’ labor internationalism by rank-and-file dockworker union activists affiliated to the International Dockworkers Council. The project was a global organizational ethnography  employing a nested multi-level comparison of union coordination in response to recent labor disputes in Europe (Greece, Portugal, England) and Latin America (Chile, Colombia). Spanning four years, the research, conducted in forty cities in twenty countries, is comprised of over eighty in-depth interviews, as well as participant observation at a dozen international meetings of dockworker union activists, and analysis of union archival documents and media reporting of key disputes. The project has received generous funding from a number of different sources, including the the International Dissertation Research Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council.

The first article to be published from my dissertation appeared in 2017 in the British Journal of Industrial Relations, while a second and third article have been published in Latin American Politics and Society and Work, Employment and Society. These papers have been awarded the Labor and Employment Relations Association James. G. Scoville Best International/Comparative Industrial Relations Paper Award (2018) and the American Sociological Association Section on Labor and Labor Movements’ Distinguished Scholarly Article Award (2018).