Workers of the World: Exploring global perspectives on labour

Symposium, 28-30 June 2017, Hanover, Germany


How can we arrive at global perspectives on labour, which reach beyond teleologies of a all-encompassing "race to the top" (or "to the bottom"), but also beynd the notion of everincreasing differentiation? This symposium explores overarching trends in the political as well as corporate regulation and in the forms of collective organisation of labour. Such an exploration is understood as a precondition for an adequate analysis of the dynamics of current capitalism. It needs to be based on an examination of linkages and similarities, differences and unevenness, as well as on the wide variety of work constellations resulting from such trends in different parts of the world. Towards this aim, we hope to bring together scholars from the social and historical sciences who are prepared to leave the comfort zone of highly specialized area studies, in a common quest for transnational perspectives. The global economic crisis of the mid-1970s should function as a common point of reference, connecting post-war developments to the immediate pre-history of present constellations.

This symposium comprises three sessions:

  • Political Regulation of Labour: Trends and Contradictions
  • Labour at the Site of Production: Labour Process, Control, Quality of Work
  • Politics of Labour: Collective Action 

Travel Grants

The Volkswagen Foundation offers Travel Grants for PhD students or postdocs (max. 5 years since PhD), researching on global perspectives on labor from the 1950s to the present. 20 young researchers have received Travel Grants to take part in the Herrenhausen Symposium "Workers of the World" in Hanover, Germany. They will have the opportunity to present their research in a poster session. The posters will be displayed during the entire symposium. The grants include travel expenses to and from Hanover, visa fees (if applicable), as well as accommodation in Hanover. 

Useful Information

More information about the symposium is provided by Prof. Dr. Nicole Mayer-Ahuja, University of Göttingen & Sociological Research Institute, SOFI and Head of the Steering Committee,


Please find the program of the upcoming Herrenhausen Symposium on "Workers of the World" attached.


If you would like to attend the symposium, please visit the website:


The symposium language is English.

Venue and Transport

The symposium is held at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany. You can reach the venue by tram: Take line 4 (Direction "Stöcken") or line 5 (Direction "Garbsen") and get off at "Herrenhäuser Gärten".


Attached document(s):