Foreign Policy Blogs

Botswanans on Strike

Yes, of course Botswana’s public sector strike hurts the poor disproportionately. In Botswana, as in just about everywhere, the poor outnumber everyone else. But to assert that public sector strikes harm them disproportionately is to not be curious as to whether or not decisions by those against whom the public sector strikers are striking harm the poor even more disproportionately. In other words, it is easy to take a static view of labor. But the reality is that those workers are not striking against society or against the poor, and whatever short-term harm the strikers might do is almost certainly compounded by those who employ and try to exploit those who strike.



Derek Catsam
Derek Catsam

Derek Catsam is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Derek writes about race and politics in the United States and Africa, sports, and terrorism. He is currently working on books on bus boycotts in the United States and South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s, the Freedom Rides, and South African resistance politics in the 1980s. He has lived, worked, and travelled extensively throughout southern Africa. He is also a lifelong sports fan, with the Boston Red Sox as his first true love. He was one of about three dozen people to write books about the 2004 World Champion Red Sox, and the result is Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan's Diary of the 2004 Season. He writes about politics, sports, travel, pop culture, and just about anything else that comes to mind.

Areas of Focus:
Africa; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Apartheid