Logics of Sedition: Re-signifying Insurgent Labour in Bangladesh’s Garment Factories

Dina M. Siddiqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I draw on the Tuba hunger strike of 2014, which took place in the shadow of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the preceding year, to think through questions of collective action in relation to shifting figurations of labour in moments of crisis. I ask how state, capital and (I)NGO priorities shape or re-signify dominant narratives of labour insurgency under supply chain capitalism (Tsing, 2009). I trace conditions that enable the invocation of (highly contextualized) non-work tropes as a strategy for controlling or reframing labour struggles; I am particularly interested in the emergence of the figure of the anti-nationalist or outside agitator and the work of sedition narratives in constructing borders between legitimate and illegal forms of labour mobilization. I show how the highly contingent global assemblages that emerge bear directly on the prospects for organizing (what remains of) the ‘formally’ employed industrial workforce in the global garment sector, holding lessons for other spaces and places.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-397
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of South Asian Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Bangladesh
  • South Asia studies
  • garment factories
  • gender
  • labour
  • labour relations and collective bargaining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • History
  • General Social Sciences
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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