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Joel Rogers

Contributing editor

Joel Rogers, a Nation contributing editor, teaches at the University of Wisconsin, where he directs the Center on Wisconsin Strategy.

  • Activism March 23, 2015

    Productive Democracy

    It’s time to embrace a new egalitarian politics.

    Joel Rogers

  • Labor July 2, 2014

    After ‘Harris v. Quinn’: The State of Our Unions

    After one of Supreme Court’s most anti-union rulings in recent years, is there still time for organized labor to save itself?

    Eileen Boris, Jennifer Klein, Joel Rogers, Joshua Freeman and Jane McAlevey

  • Labor March 27, 2014

    Why ‘Harris v. Quinn’ Has Labor Very, Very Nervous

    The fate of public sector unionism lies with a single Supreme Court justice—and not the one you’d want.

    Joel Rogers

  • Labor July 12, 2011

    ALEC Exposed: Business Domination Inc.

    Wisconsin is just one front in ALEC's most recent war against against revenue and labor unions, part of an ongoing mission to privatize everything.

    Joel Rogers and Laura Dresser

  • March 30, 2006

    Taming Global Capitalism Anew

    Taming global capitalism is the overriding challenge of our time. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Thea Lee, James K. Galbraith and others offer their ideas on how the United States can transform global capitalism by creating a new social contract.

    Joel Rogers, James K. Galbraith, Jeff Faux, Thea M. Lee, Will Hutton, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Marcellus Andrews and Jane D’Arista


  • Cities June 2, 2005

    Cities: The Vital Core

    Urban centers are by their nature spawning grounds of progressive politics.

    Joel Rogers

  • Elections August 12, 2004

    Devolve This!

    Progressives urgently need a strategy to take back the states from the GOP.

    Joel Rogers

  • Non-fiction June 21, 2004

    Unfulfilled Promise

    Jim Weinstein has spent most of his adult life writing about the failures and possibilities of the American left.

    Joel Rogers

  • Election 2004 February 9, 2004

    Progressives Should Vote Edwards

    John Edwards offers a real program of democratic renewal.

    Joel Rogers

  • Internet and New Media June 6, 2002

    Unions on the Net

    Unions are gradually making fuller use of the Internet's capacities to improve communication with their own staffs or members. But increasingly they are also using the web to recruit new members or to establish "virtual communities" of union supporters in arenas not yet amenable to the standard collective-bargaining model.

    Alliance@IBM ( is an example of an effective Net-supported minority union, operating without a demonstrated pro-union majority and without a collective-bargaining contract at a traditional nonunion company. The alliance provides information and advice to workers at IBM through the web. A similar effort at a partially organized employer is WAGE ("Workers at GE,", which draws on contributions from fourteen cooperating international unions. The Microsoft-inflected WashTech ( and the Australian IT Workers Alliance ( are open-source unions that are closer to craft unions or occupational associations. Both are responsive to the distinctive professional needs of these workers, such as access to a variety of job experiences and additional formal education, and the portability of high-level benefits when changing jobs.

    The National Writers Union (, a UAW affiliate, is another example of a union virtually created off the Net. It provides information and advice--including extensive job postings--to members, and it lobbies on their behalf, most spectacularly in the recent Supreme Court decision it won on freelance worker copyright rights. But most of its members work without a collectively bargained contract.

    In Britain, UNISON (the largest union in the country) and the National Union of Students have a website that tells student workers their rights and gives them advice about how to deal with workplace problems ( It is a particularly engaging and practical illustration of how concrete problems can be addressed through Net assistance.

    Finally, for a more geographically defined labor community, take a look at the website of the King County AFL-CIO (, the Seattle central labor council that uses the Net to coordinate its own business, bring community and labor groups together for discussion and common action, post messages and general information to the broader community, and otherwise create a "virtual" union hall with much of the spirit and dense activity that used to be common in actual union halls in major cities.

    Joel Rogers and Richard B. Freeman