Beverly Silver

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Beverly Judith Silver (* 1957 in Detroit ) is an American sociologist .


Beverly J. Silver grew up in Detroit. It was shaped by a period of radical workers' struggles in Detroit's car factories. Among other things, she was involved in the “United Farm Workers” union and was active in the Chile solidarity. In the 1980s she studied in New York, where she co-founded the “ World Labor Group ” at the Fernand Braudel Center and was a member until 1999. She has been Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore since 1992 . She was married to Professor Giovanni Arrighi .

Research focus

Her research focuses on development, working conditions and social conflict. In terms of methodology, it is based primarily on comparative and world-historical analyzes. Her work encompasses a wide variety of spatial and temporal contexts, whereby she wants to work out patterns of repetitions, developments and real innovations in the current process of globalization .



In 1999 she published the book “ Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System ” together with Giovanni Arrighi . Silver and Arrighi are representatives of the world system analysis and world system theory founded by Immanuel Wallerstein . For the book, the author received the “ Distinguished Scholarship Award ” from the “ American Sociological Association PEWS ”.

In 2005 her book “Forces of Labor. Globalization and Labor Movements since 1870 ”in German (the original English version is from 2003). In this regard, she strongly opposes the thesis of the so-called “ race to the bottom ”, i.e. H. the inevitable decline of social standards and environmental regulations in the competition between locations in globalization. Silver examines the shifts of capital historically and arrives at the central thesis: Wherever capital would be shifted, new labor disputes would arise. In 2005, Forces of Labor received the ASA Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association .


Individual evidence

  1. Message from the American Sociological Association (English)

Web links