Ed A Hewett Book Prize


Honorable Mention

Planning Labour: Time and the Foundations of Industrial Socialism in Romania

Honorable Mention: Alina-Sandra Cucu
Title: Planning Labour: Time and the Foundations of Industrial Socialism in Romania (Berghahn Books)

Cucu’s book addresses the difference between centrally planned socialism in principle and what occurred on the shop floor in practice in Romania. The study adds new and challenging conceptual dimensions to our understanding of labor in the command economy, by emphasizing the ‘fragility of the state’ and the ‘non-synchronicity” of the planning process. Cucu explains and demonstrates the importance of temporal aspects of governance that often go overlooked, and effectively argues that labor policy in the “workers’ state” often went against the interests of the workers. Focusing on two factories in Cluj, the study brings to life the ways in which workers and managers co-existed amid disorder and subversion. The original case study is constructed from exhaustive archival research. The book further shows off an exceptional command of the literature, while making its own insightful contribution to labor studies. Planning Labour is an exemplary book for the micro-analysis of the shop floor in labor theory and history.

Winner: Emanuela Grama