58th ITH Conference: 
Deindustrialization, Reindustrialization and Economic Transitions – Transnational Perspectives from Labour History

7-9 September 2023, Linz


Organised by:
International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH), in co-operation with the Chamber of Labour of Upper Austria, the Chamber of Labour of Vienna, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Politische Bildung and the City of Linz

Preparatory Group:
Ravi Ahuja (University Göttingen), Stefan Berger (Ruhr University Bochum), Laurin Blecha (ITH, Vienna), Eszter Bartha (Hannah Arendt Institute, Dresden), Paolo Fontes (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Therese Garstenauer (ITH, Vienna), David Mayer (ITH, Vienna)

Industrialization and deindustrialization have been global and combined phenomena ever since the Industrial Revolution. The wave of industrialization associated with England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries formed but one element of a dramatic global restructuring of production which came with the loss and transformation of livelihoods in other parts of the world. India is emblematic for that, as the surge in machine-driven industrialization in England went hand in hand with the decline if not dismantling of the more craft-based textile industries in India. Since then, we have witnessed many waves of deindustrialization, reindustrialization and economic transition around the world. These interconnected processes have been accompanied by often dramatic changes in employment opportunities and the world of work more generally.
This conference seeks to explore processes that are often described as ‘deindustrialization’ from a global and historical perspective. It starts from the assumption that the term itself is problematic, as the economic processes leading to deindustrialization at the same time might include processes of reindustrialization. The term itself is also not used widely in different languages: in German ‘Strukturwandel’ is preferred, in Italian there ‘ristruccturazione’ and in French we often hear about ‘modernisation’. The ambivalence of terminology points at the diversity of processes of industrial restructuring: they may be due to shifts of profit expectations between industrial sectors, changing modalities of international capital movements or to the transformation of labour processes and management strategies within a specific industrial sector. Each of these interconnected processes of crisis resolution can result in various forms of spatial relocation, and re-composition of the labour force. Hence, we are asking how best to understand the processes of economic and spatial transition, their social and cultural consequences as well as their political fall-outs.

AK-Bildungshaus Jägermayrhof, Römerstraße 98, 4020 Linz, Austria

Linz is an industrial town some 180 km west of Vienna and one of the historical centres of the Austrian labour movement. The Austrian Civil War between Austro-fascist militias (“Heimwehren”) and the federal army on the one hand, and the paramilitary organization of the Austrian Social Democratic Workers Party, the “Republikanischer Schutzbund” on the other, in February 1934, started in Linz. The surroundings of the Jägermayrhof were among the centres of combat.

Laurin Blecha
International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH)
c/o Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW)
Altes Rathaus, Wipplinger Str. 6/Stg., A-1010 Vienna, Austria
email: conference[at]ith.or.at

Travel information

A selection of links that may be useful for you attending the conference:


How to travel to Linz – General information

ÖBB – Direct train connections from Vienna International Airport (“Flughafen Wien”) or Vienna Main Station (“Wien Hauptbahnhof”) to Linz Main Station (“Linz Hauptbahnhof”)
Westbahn – Direct train connections from Vienna Main Station (“Wien Hauptbahnhof”) or Vienna West Station (“Wien Westbahnhof”) to Linz Main Station (“Linz Hauptbahnhof”)

Blue Danube Airport Linz – Bus, train or taxi to the city centre

Once you have arrived at “Linz Hauptbahnhof” (Linz Main Station) you can either travel to the venue by public transport or take a taxi (approx. EUR 15-20).

If you travel by public transport from “Linz Hauptbahnhof” (Linz Main Station), take tram no. 1 or 2 (direction to “Universität”) or tram no. 3 or 4 (direction to “Landgutstraße”) and travel 4 stops until “Taubenmarkt”. Change there to bus no. 26 (direction to “Stadion”), travel 5 stops and got off at “Jägermayr”. The bus station is right besides the venue.

The trams from “Linz Hauptbahnhof” (Linz Main Station) leave regularly. Bus no. 26 leaves “Taubenmarkt” every 30 min. The last bus leaves at 7:06 pm (Bus schedule).


Jägermayrhof – Cultural and Educational Centre of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labour


City of Linz – Information by the Linz City Tourist Board
Vienna Tourism – Information by the Vienna Tourist Board