Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements

The Internationalisation of the Labour Question

Ideological Antagonism, Workers’ Movements and the ILO since 1919

Editors: Bellucci, Stefano, Weiss, Holger (Eds.)

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  • Connects labour history, global history and the institutional or political history of international organisations 
  • Marks the centenary of the ILO and the formation of the International Federation of Trade Unions, World Federation of Trade Unions and the Communist International
  • Explores the workings of international labour organisations, the links and networks between these, the definition of the worker and the historical legacy of these organisations
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Hardcover $119.99
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This edited collection is a global history of workers’ organisations since 1919, the year when the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Comintern and the International Federation of Trade Unions were formed. This historical moment represents a caesura in labour history as it epitomises the beginning of what the editors and the contributors in this book call the internationalisation of the labour question. The case studies in this centenary volume analyse the relationship between global workers’ organisations and the new ideological confrontation between liberal capitalism, socialism and communism since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.  Workers’ organisations, trade unions in particular, grew in importance and managed to organise internationally, forming alliances cemented by ideology and sustained by international institutional bodies or centrals. In the nascent capitalist versus communist struggle, trade unions thrived. Is it mere coincidence that today’s decline of unionism coincides with the end of ideological antagonism? This book emphasises important global labour issues such as gender as well as international workers’ histories from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

About the authors

Stefano Bellucci is a Lecturer at the Institute for History of Leiden University, the Netherlands, and a Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History, the Netherlands.

Holger Weiss is Professor of General History at Åbo Akademi University, Finland, and Guest Professor of History at Dalarna University, Sweden.



Reviews

“This book is a timely and highly welcome contribution to the literature on the International Labour Organization on the occasion of its centenary. The focus on the labour movement as a driver of internationalization of labour and social policy debates and practices all over the world sheds light on a thus far understudied aspect of this larger story. The multi-faceted and thoroughly global perspective represented by this fine collection of essays is a real achievement.” (Daniel Maul, University of Oslo, Norway)

“This book deftly unravels the conceptual, ideological and practical factors that initiated, accelerated or impeded the successful development of global labour activism. Not only is it an important contribution to the scholarly literature on internationalism but it is also an excellent historical guide for workers' organisations seeking to reinvent themselves and to bring back the labour question to the realm of politics.” (Magaly Rodriguez Garcia, KU Leuven, Belgium)

“This book by Stefano Bellucci and Holger Weiss arrives at a critical juncture in the history of labour. It marks the beginning of the second centenary existence of the International Labour Organization, critically, reflecting on the role of the ILO as the only United Nations Agency, whose decision-making processes are tri-partite in nature and scope. The challenges facing trade union organizations are analyzed with a keen interest in the changing nature of labour struggles as a response to the frontiers of capitalistic transformations which transcends not only nation-states but has through the power of Multinational Corporations emasculated many governments and media houses, especially in the developing world. The way in which the central role of the State has suffered multiple onslaughts through free trade and workers and their organizations as the ultimate sacrifice is well articulated. A must-have book for anybody who is interested in the evolution of labour through the transformation of capital and how the systematic ideological onslaughts on socialism and communism took place over the last 100 years.” (Hilma Mote, International Trade Unions Confederation in Africa, Togo)

Table of contents (18 chapters)

Table of contents (18 chapters)
  • 1919 and the Century of Labour Internationalisation

    Pages 1-19

    Bellucci, Stefano (et al.)

  • Global Union Organisations, 1889–2019: The Weight of History and the Challenges of the Present

    Pages 23-49

    Stevis, Dimitris

  • The Guest Who Invited Himself: The International Free Trade Union Movement During and Between the Two World Wars

    Pages 51-70

    Goethem, Geert

  • Woman’s Labours and the Definition of the Worker: Legacies of 1919

    Pages 71-93

    Boris, Eileen

  • Framing Working Women’s Rights Internationally: Contributions of the IFTU Women’s International

    Pages 95-117

    Zimmermann, Susan

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-28235-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-28234-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Internationalisation of the Labour Question
Book Subtitle
Ideological Antagonism, Workers’ Movements and the ILO since 1919
Editors
  • Stefano Bellucci
  • Holger Weiss
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-28235-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-28235-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-28234-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXI, 436
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
Topics