Peter Giraudo


Peter Giraudo is a PhD candidate in political theory in Princeton’s Politics Department. Peter holds a B.A. from Columbia University in history. He has research interests in the history of European political thought and democratic theory. His dissertation examines theories of the trade union as a morally transformative institution in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe, with a particular focus on the writings of Karl Marx, Georges Sorel, Max Weber, Eduard Bernstein, and Émile Durkheim. Despite these thinkers’ different political commitments, they all believed unionism had the potential to overcome the moral egoism and regimes of control that existed in capitalist society. This dissertation illuminates trade unions’ position in society more broadly and thus different conceptions of how they ought to relate to other institutions such as the political party, parliament, bureaucratic agencies, and consumer cooperatives. It recovers the hopes once invested in unions as institutions that changed the character of citizens’ moral and social relations rather than merely secured workers material gains.

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