Anne Engelhardt

Contact Details

<link mail>anne.engelhardt[at]

Office hour (until 31.03.2020): Tuesdays (11.00AM-12.00PM), Room 3220, Nora-Platiel Str. 1


Mönchebergstraße 19, 34109 Kassel

<link https: uni universitaet kontakt-und-standorte>University of Kassel, Germany

PhD Project Title

Organizing labour at chokepoints – the case of sea and air terminals in Portugal and Brazil

Abstract of PhD Thesis

My PhD is located in the field of critical political economy, industrial sociology and social movement/ labor studies. I pursue the thesis that the logistical revolution of the past decades has created vulnerabilities or so called 'chokepoints' in the global goods distribution, especially in the maritime and air transport sectors. Different scientists assume on the one hand that the blockade of chokepoints caused by labor disputes can have a strong economic impact. The logistical power of employees has a high potential for successful industrial action, which could be used above all in the fight against casualization. In addition, this power position contains potentials for union (re-) organization. On the other hand, chokepoints pose a growing risk for governments, logistics and insurance companies, and are subject to new controls and laws, which in turn reduces the potential for disputes. Thus, my central questions are: How does the thesis on the special labor market power in the area of ​​these chokepoints apply? Have there been successful labor disputes in aviation and shipping logistics in the recent years, and if so, how have employees, in the context of the security issue and their special role in production, achieved self-organization and the advocacy of safe and good working conditions? These questions will be studied on two levels. On the one hand, battles against casualization in the port sector are compared with those in the airport sector, and on the other, these sectors are analyzed in the countries Brazil and Portugal. The airport and port sectors were selected and subjected to a comparative study, since current industrial sociology assumes that both sectors stand out in terms of their economic importance. In Brazil and Portugal both areas play a central economic and political role, as both countries represent comparable cases. Moreover, both countries have a special social, cultural and economic relationship to each other through the colonial history of Portugal; and a series of anti-austerity protests took place in the recent year from 2010 to 2018, to which the research is specifically linked.
The thesis focuses on actors around and at chokepoints: employees of the ports or airports, their trade union representatives, entrepreneurs and representatives of state institutions. Finally, the sample of the investigation will be supplemented by activists from social movements who, in solidarity with logistics workers, see the possibility of building larger movements against precarity.


<link https: fb05>Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherrer

Areas of Interest

Critical Political Economy, Labour and Social Movement Studies, Logistics

Educational Background


Bachelor of Arts, Potsdam University, Germany, majoring in Public Management/Political Science and Sociology with a primary focus on privatisation processes in communal institutions in Lisbon, Portugal


Master of Arts, University of Kassel, Germany, majoring in Political Science with a focus on global social movement and labour studies, the European crisis and its impact on Portugal

Professional Experience

10/2019-03/2020University lecturer at Kassel University in Political Science for BA and MA

Board member of the Critical Political Economy Network (CPERN)

Since 2016 Seminar lecturer at Göttingen and Kassel University
2014-2016 Tutor, Kassel University
2014–2015Research Assistant, Kassel University

Research assistant, part time work in various start up industries, Berlin

2004–2007Online editor,, Berlin

Assistant teacher in various social and school projects, Berlin

Social/Political Activities

  • Active trade union member, Gewerkschaft für Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW)


Since 2017 PhD Scholarship, Hans-Böckler-Foundation, Germany


  • Engelhardt, A (2020 im Erscheinen): Klassenkampf in Brasilien – zum erweiterten Klassenbegriff, sozialer Reproduktionstheorie und Autoritärem Neoliberalismus. In: Tietje, O.; Tiedemann, N. (2019) AkG-Sammelband (Arbeitstitel), Münster: Wesfählisches Dampfboot.
  • Engelhardt, A. (2019): Book Review: Kim Moody (2017) On New Terrain: How capitalism is reshaping the battleground of class war. In: Global Labour Journal 9/2019.
  • Engelhardt, A. (2019): Erhobener Zeigefinger statt geballter Faust. Jason W. Moore, Raj Patel A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things. In: kritisch-lesen, Juli/2019.
  • Engelhardt, A., Moore, M. (2019): A constant tug of war: Neoliberalism and social unrest in (post)-crisis Ireland and Portugal. In: Kiess, J., Seeliger, M. (Eds.): Trade Unions under the Pressure of European Integration. A Question of Optimism and Pessimism? London: Routledge.
    • Eicker, J., Engelhardt, A., Müller, C., Shah, A., Tiedemann, N. (2018): Leben in Zeiten der multiplen Krise: Drei Narrative der Finanz- und Eurokrise. In: Eis, A., Moulin-Doos, C. (Eds.): Kritische politische Europabildung – Die Vielfachkrise Europas als kollektive Lernangelegenheit? Reihe: Erfahrungsorientierter Politikunterricht, Band 10. Prolog-Verlag, Immenhausen bei Kassel, 24-40.
    • Engelhardt, A., Müller, C., Tiedemann, N. (2018): Welt aus den Fugen? Lehrangebot im Rahmen des Lernbereichs ‚Globale Entwicklung‘. In: Eis, A., Moulin-Doos, C. (Eds.): Kritische politische Europabildung – Die Vielfachkrise Europas als kollektive Lernangelegenheit? Reihe: Erfahrungsorientierter Politikunterricht, Band 10. Prolog-Verlag, Immenhausen bei Kassel, 229-245.
    • Engelhardt, A., Moore, M. (2017): Moving beyond the toolbox: Providing social movement studies with a materialist dialectical lens. In: momentum Quarterly Zeitschrift für Sozialen Fortschritt, 6 (4), 270–288.
    • Engelhardt, A. (2017): Know your rights: Portugal zwischen Verfassungsaktivismus und sozialen Bewegungen. Die Staatskrise 2013 aus der Sicht materialistischer Bewegungsforschung. In: Kritische Justiz, 50 (4), 417–433.
    • Engelhardt, A. (2017): What belongs together will grow together?: Current social movements and labor struggles in Portugal. In: Balashova, Oksana/Karatepe, Ismail Doga/ Namukasa, Aishah (2016): Where have all classes gone? Collective action and social struggles in a global context. Rainer Hampp Verlag, Mehring.
    • Engelhardt, A. (2017): Anti-Austerity Movements and Authoritarian Statism in Portugal: Integrating Social Movement Research into Poulantzas' Theory of the Capitalist State, Ed: Gallas, Alexander/Scherrer, Christoph: New Research in Global Political Economy Working Paper Series, University of Kassel. URL: <link https: bitstream handle new_research_in_gpe_4_2017.pdf>
    • Engelhardt, A. (2017): Judicial Crisis in Portugal: The Constitution in relation to the State, Social and Labor Movements / Crise judiciária em Portugal: a Constituição em relação ao Estado e aos movimentos sociais e trabalhistas. In: Direito&Práxis Revista 8 (1), 670-710, doi: 10.12957/dep.2017.27764.