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International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflicts


Guest Editor of the Special Issue: Christian G. De Vito

Call for Articles


This call for articles for a special issue of the journal Workers of the World  ( on New Perspectives on Global labour history is open to PhD-, young- and senior researchers from all over the world.

The originals may be submitted in Spanish, French, English, Italian and Portuguese. However, the article in its final form will be published in English, so – once approved for publication – the author is responsible for its translation within two months.


On Global Labour History

First conceived at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) at the end of the 1980s as a response to the crisis of labour and social history, Global labour history (GLH) is by now a truly global “area of interest” involving scholars from a broad range of countries all over the world. Debate is open within its ever extending borders on all key-issues in contemporary historiography. However, three fundamental features have marked Global labour history since its inception:

1.    In Global labour history, the field of labour history is stretched beyond institutional and top-down histories. Labour relations and conditions, individual and collective identities and conflicts of all kind of (male and female) workers are taken into account.

2.    In Global labour history, the chronology of labour history is expanded beyond the divide of the First Industrial Revolution, at least so far as to include the origins of merchant capitalism.

3.    Global labour history covers the whole world and refuses any Eurocentric perspective as well as any approach that takes the nation-state as its exclusive point of reference.

Because of this, on the one hand, traditional categories in labour history are questioned, such as proletarianization, peripheral labour, etc., while all forms of labour relations involved in the process of commodification of labour are explored, e.g. slavery, wage labour, serfdom, indentured labour, etc.

On the other hand, new methodologies are used in order to address interconnections exchanges and fluxes between different places and across the global and local levels. Among others: histoire croisée, microhistory, history of the everyday life, the concepts of translocality and teleconnections, the practices of “following the traces” and following the production and consumption chains.


For more detailed information on Global labour history, you might want to see:

·       Marcel van der Linden, Jan Lucassen, Prolegomena for a Global Labour History, IISH, Amsterdam, 1999 (See also:

·       Jan Lucassen (ed.), Global Labour History. A State of the Art, Peter Lang, Bern, 2006.

·       Marcel van der Linden, Workers of the World. Essays Toward a Global Labour History, Brill, Leiden, 2008.

·       Christian G. De Vito (ed.), Global Labour History. La storia del lavoro al tempo della “globalizzazione”, Ombre Corte, Verona, 2012.


On the  Special Issue on Global Labour History

The special issue of the journal Workers of the World seeks to explore the potentialities of Global labour history further, both applying new methodological approaches to themes that have been already investigated and proceeding along new thematic and methodological directions.

In the selection of articles, therefore, priority will be given to contributions presenting one or more among the following features:

a.    A particular focus on methods and concepts that stress connections, exchanges, fluxes and jeux d’échelles between places and between the local and global (or micro and macro) scales.

This approach will transcend nationally-based and Eurocentric perspectives and also mere trans-national comparisons. The consequences – advantages and disadvantages – of this methodological shift on the analysis of concepts and issues will be explicitly addressed.


b.    A particular focus on long-term approach.

Various periods (e.g. early modern and modern; medieval and early modern; ancient, medieval and early modern) will be integrated and the consequences produced by the long-term perspective in the observation of specific phenomena, in the use of concepts and sources, etc. will be explicitly addressed.


c.     A particular focus on the historicization of the concept of “work” (and related terms).

What did “work” mean within specific historical contexts? And what was the (individual and/or collective) perception of work by workers, non-workers and employers?


d.    A particular focus on one or more among the following issues:

·      The relationship between “free” and “unfree” labour, with further focus on intermediate forms of labour relations and on the use of the categories of “free” and “unfree” labour as such.

·      The relationship between workers, non-workers, household and communities.

·      The social world of the (individual and organized) employers, in relationship to the social world of the (individual and organized) workers.

·      The relationship between gender and work.

·      The relationship between labour and politics, in the double sense of the relationships between work and political regime and political and union organizations and political regime.

·      The relationship between the everyday experience of work and the organization of socio-political conflicts.


Rather than addressing the methodological and theoretical issues in Global labour history in an abstract way, articles will present the results of empirical research on work and social conflicts and then, building on these, they will address the meaning of “doing” Global labour history, the advantages and disadvantages of taking such a perspective and the differences with other approaches.



·      Article submission by the author: 1st September – 10th December 2012

·      Selection of the articles by the editor: 10th December 2012 – 1st January 2013

·      Peer-review process: 1st January – 15th February 2013

·      Notification of acceptance by the reviewers: 15th February 2013

·      Definitive article submission by the author: 15th February – 15th April 2013

·      Final revision by the editor: 15th April – 15th May 2013

·      Publication on line: 15th May 2013

Please note: No articles sent by the authors after the above mentioned deadlines will be accepted.


Submission of Articles

All articles should be sent to this email address: (Christian G. De Vito) with cc to

The originals may be submitted in Spanish, French, English, Italian and Portuguese. However, the article in its final form will be published in English, so – once approved for publication – the author is responsible for its translation within two months.

Articles should be no longer than 5,000 words (including spaces and footnotes) in Times new roman, 12, line space 1,5.

Rules for submission of contributions can be found at the following link:


Selection and Peer-review of the Articles

Articles are first selected by the editor of the special issue on the basis of the requirements indicated in this call for articles.

A total of twenty articles are anonymously submitted to the referees. Each article is submitted to two referees.

On the basis of the feedbacks provided by the referees, the editor further selects the ten

articles that will be published.

For any further information, please contact the editor of the special issue at:


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