António Simões do Paço, Raquel Varela & Sjaak van der Velden (eds.), Strikes and Social Conflicts: Towards a Global History. Lisbon, International Association Strikes and Social Conflicts/Instituto de História Contemporânea da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2012 (2nd edition), 835 p. ISBN: 978-972-96844-1-8.
Close contacts with colleagues and co-operation between fellow research institutes are of crucial importance to all studies. The study of strikes and social conflicts is no exception to this rule. This is the reason why we initiated a conference on this item to take place in Lisbon. Despite the recent neglect of the subject in academia since the 1980‘s we hoped to revive and arouse the interest from students and professionals so long gone. Using our networks built during earlier conferences we invited many researchers who had shown the requested interest. To our surprise many responded enthusiastically and the financial aid from a handful of scientific institutes made it possible to organise the conference.
From 16 March to 20 March 2011 hundreds of colleagues in the field of labour history met during 46 sessions in Lisbon. A few round table meetings and a common dinner completed the conference. During the conference there was great support for the initiative to establish an association and start the publication of a journal. The association was actually established and will organise future conferences while the journal is also taking shape. The first issue of the journal will publish a few of the Lisbon papers, while others found their way to other journals.
We are convinced that it would be a shame to leave the conference papers only open to the participants and decided to publish these in an online book. We asked the authors to edit their paper and the results are in this book. Unfortunately there was no money to translate papers from English to Spanish/Portuguese and vice versa like we could do during the conference. But even then we are confident that this book may be a useful tool for ourselves and others who study the history of strikes and social conflicts.
We titled this book Strikes and social conflicts: Towards a global history because in our opinion this stresses our goal for the conference. Labour history and the study of strikes and social conflicts are moving into a new phase where a global perspective is more than ever before needed to understand the subject. Society is going global and social movements are going global. Hence the study of these movements needs to go global too. We hope that we have contributed to this movement of study by the publication of this book.
We again want to thank the institutes that supported the conference: Instituto de História Contemporânea, International Institute of Social History, Maison des Sciences de l‘Homme, Centre d‘Estudis de l‘Època Franquista i Democràtica, Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Red de Archivos Históricos de Comissiones Obreras, FWO Scientific Research Network and Fundação Luso-Americana. This book, to end with, would not have been possible to publish without the support from Instituto de História Contemporânea da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
António Simões do Paço, Raquel Varela and Sjaak van der Velden