NEC Alumna Alina Cucu on Labour Politics of Early Socialism in Romania

6 April 2020

Alina Cucu discussed her recent book, Planning Labour. Time and the Foundations of Industrial Socialism in Romania (Berghahn Books, 2019). An interview by Viorel Anăstăsoaie, NEC alumnus, researcher and librarian


Excerpt from Introduction:

“In order to understand how the contradictory nature of labour – as labour power, as living labour and as political subjecthood – was reflected in the ordinary operations of planning, the book attempts to answer several interrelated questions. Who were the workers of early socialist factories? How did the socialist state keep the cost of labour low? How did the relationship between the city and the countryside play out in labour’s reproduction, expansion and control? How were the new labour regulations translated into local realities? How did the workers respond to these societal changes with their own classed, ethnicized and gendered strategies of reproduction? And finally, how were the daily struggles to (re)produce a cheap labour force reflected in the possibility of controlling workers, mobilizing them and unearthing their practical knowledge on the shop floor?” (p. 2)

The interview is in Romanian, uploaded to YouTube.