Associated especially with the work of the Italian philosopher Antonio Negri, whose texts, prior to his recent co-authored book Empire, were major expositions of the autonomist perspective.
Although analytically attached to a strongly worker-centric version of Marxism, autonomists were active in favouring the development of diverse subcultural spaces, including squatted social centres, "autoreduction" of train and bus fares (political fare-dodging), subvertising, pirate radio (e.g. radio alice) and the political demands of the emarginati (the "marginalised" or socially excluded) and "precari" (precariously positioned workers).
The main representative of this tendency in Britain today is the journal Aufheben. Autonomist tendencies also exist in most other countries.
Readers should note that autonomism is NOT the same thing as autonomous anarchism.
The autonomist movement bore the brunt of a vicious state crackdown in Germany and Italy, due to largely unfounded conflation of autonomism with armed opposition groups such as the Red Brigades.
Autonomism is an increasingly important current in intellectual life through authors such as Harry Cleaver, Chris Wright and Steve Thoburn.
The White Overall movement is partly derived from autonomist roots.