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The Impact of Labour Movements on Social and Cultural Development
48. Linz Conference: 13—16 September 2012



With regard to the overreaching question of the current ITH-cycle considering the impact of labour movements on societal and social progress and development, the 2012 ITH-conference aims at examining cultural as well as welfare state arrangements of communities based on case studies. Both, the development and the implementation of new ideas and norms through labour movements shall be analysed on this occasion. Particular attention will be paid to similarities and differences between the “global North” and the “global South”.

Target and Topics

The 2012 ITH-conference offers the opportunity to address aspects of securing fundamental means of existence as well as “modern” forms of precautionary measures such as health care, labour legislation, paid holidays and employment protection or general welfare state models. Issues such as social benefits, protection against dismissal or retirement provisions shall likewise be regarded both from a European and a Non-European perspective. In addition to this, historical paths of the welfare state and the development of its security systems will be taken into account. In this framework, it can be examined to what extent labour movements have forced the social integration of the people in both state and society and in how far social disintegration can be attributed to labour movements.
As a further problem area of the 2012 conference, the labour movements´ cultural work shall be scrutinized in the broadest sense of its meaning. Accordingly, processes of development with regard to family and sexual norms or work and leisure may be taken into consideration. Furthermore, aspects of economy, business ethics as well as state and social order – hence, the political and legal culture – could be addressed in this topic area, as well. A fundamental question that has to be discussed is to what extent labour movements have generally created an access towards culture.

Organisational Matters

Abstract submissions for a presentation at the conference are requested until 15 February 2012 – limited to 3,500 characters - via E-Mail to:

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittag
Institut für soziale Bewegungen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Clemensstraße 17-19, D-44789 Bochum, or to

Univ.Doz. Dr. Berthold Unfried
International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH)
Wipplingerstr. 6-8, A-1010 Vienna

Contributions will be presented at the 48th Linz Conference of the ITH (13-16 September 2012), the proceedings of the conference shall be published within a year. Accommodation and conference fees will be covered by the ITH. Assistance to the funding of travel costs (or, if necessary, reimbursement) will be provided.