Workers of the World: Exploring global perspectives on labour from the 1950s to the present

Symposium, 28-30 June 2017, Hannover, Germany


WORKERS OF THE WORLD: Exploring global perspectives on labour from the 1950s to the present


June 28 – 30, 2017

Schloss Herrenhausen | Herrenhäuser Straße 5, 30419 Hannover, Germany

How can we arrive at global perspectives on labour, which reach beyond teleologies of an all-encompassing “race to the top” (or “to the bottom”), but also beyond the notion of ever-increasing differentiation? This conference 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 of 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.


(1) Political Regulation of Labour: Trends and Contradictions

(2) Labour at the Site of Production: Labour Process, Control, Quality of Work

(3) Politics of Labour: Collective Action


June 28, 2017, 7.30 pm

Jan Breman: The end of Social Welfarism?

University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

June 29, 2017, 10.45 am

Paul Thompson: Capitalism, Contradictions and Conflict: Reflections on Global Challenges for Work and Workers from a Labour Process Perspective

University of Stirling, United Kingdom

June 29, 2017, 3.15 pm

Beverly Silver: Labor and Systemic Chaos: The End of British and US World Hegemonies Compared

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States


June 30, 2017, 1.30 pm

Globalisation of Insecurity? Workers of the World between Segmentation and Globalised Precarisation

Birgit Mahnkopf Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany

Ludger Pries Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany

Gaochao He Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangdong, China

Prabhu Mohapatra University of Delhi, India


Please use the homepage of the Volkswagen Foundation to register for the conference