Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 41 items for :

  • Brill | Sense x
  • Social History x
  • Open accessible content x
  • Upcoming Publications x
  • Just Published x
Clear All Modify Search
Author: Sanne Muurling
Female protagonists are commonly overlooked in the history of crime; especially in early modern Italy, where women’s scope of action is often portrayed as heavily restricted. This book redresses the notion of Italian women’s passivity, arguing that women’s crimes were far too common to be viewed as an anomaly. Based on over two thousand criminal complaints and investigation dossiers, Sanne Muurling charts the multifaceted impact of gender on patterns of recorded crime in early modern Bologna. While various socioeconomic and legal mechanisms withdrew women from the criminal justice process, the casebooks also reveal that women – as criminal offenders and savvy litigants – had an active hand in keeping the wheels of the court spinning.
Revolutions and Labour Relations in Global Historical Perspective
This volume offers a bold restatement of the importance of social history for understanding modern revolutions. The essays collected in Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down provide global case studies examining:
- changes in labour relations as a causal factor in revolutions;
- challenges to existing labour relations as a motivating factor during revolutions;
- the long-term impact of revolutions on the evolution of labour relations.
The volume examines a wide range of revolutions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, covering examples from South-America, Africa, Asia, and Western and Eastern Europe. The volume goes beyond merely examining the place of industrial workers, paying attention to the position of slaves, women working on the front line of civil war, colonial forced labourers, and white collar workers.

Contributors are: Knud Andresen, Zsombor Bódy, Pepijn Brandon, Dimitrii Churakov, Gabriel Di Meglio, Kimmo Elo, Adrian Grama, Renate Hürtgen, Peyman Jafari, Marcel van der Linden, Tiina Lintunen, João Carlos Louçã, Stefan Müller, Raquel Varela, and Felix Wemheuer.

Abstract:

The Carnation Revolution in 1974 in Portugal marked the end of the last European colonial empire. This was an anachronistic empire of a small peripheral country that since 1961 had been waging a relentless war in Africa to stifle the national liberation movements that contested for control of colonial territory and organized growing sectors of the population, namely the forced labourers who guaranteed a significant accumulation of capital for the beneficiaries of the colonial regime. In this chapter we seek to describe the moment and the conditions in which Portugal freed itself from a long dictatorship of 48 years and the decisive influence of the struggles in the colonies on the military revolt that started the revolution in the metropolis and ended the war to stem the movement towards independence in the former colonial territories. Workers in Portugal and its colonies in Africa alike embarked on a process that created the conditions for the Carnation Revolution and the formation of new independent African states in 1974 and 1975. Together, they succeeded in defeating the longest-running colonial dictatorship of the twentieth century.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down
Author: Adrian Grama

Abstract:

How might the experiences of East European workers between 1945 and 1989 fit into a general history of the left in the twentieth century? Should this be a history of deskilling and Taylorism run amok on Europe’s eastern fringes as some Eastern European dissent writers famously argued? Or should it rather be a history of varieties of Fordism accommodating to national contexts and resulting in specific “productivity bargains” east of the Elbe? Starting from Bruno Trentin’s La Città del lavoro, this chapter argues that neither of these narratives stand up to empirical scrutiny. Instead, the chapter rescues the notion of “workers’ control” and shows it to be main conceptual framework that adequately explains the trajectory of the working-class in state socialist Eastern Europe in the second half of the twentieth century. It does so by exploring comparatively the panoply of wage reforms Eastern European communist governments undertook beginning with the 1960s, and the various solutions policy-makers arrived at to tackle the immanent tension between high and low wage dispersion that characterized socialist shortage economies. The main take-away of this case-study is straightforward: the key legacy of Eastern European state socialism in the sphere of labour relations was workers’ entrenched control of the production process, and it was this legacy that came to be seen as a major bulwark to enterprise restructuring following the revolutions of 1989.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down
Author: Zsombor Bódy

Abstract:

The conduct and activities of workers and labourers in factories in Hungary 1956 were of crucial importance in the unfolding of the revolution and the continued resistance against the Soviet forces, even after the armed forces fighting against the Soviets had been defeated. To a significant extent the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 constituted an outburst of tensions that were not tied directly to the spectacular events of national politics at the time, and even less to political ideologies or conscious political stances. The decisions and actions of workers were shaped by tensions at the factories that had become increasingly palpable in the years before the revolution. These tensions had built up in everyday life, particularly in the workplace and in relations between workers and employers under the circumstances of a specific technological and work culture. In order to further a more nuanced understanding of the causes and the consequences of the revolution, the chapter analyses the revolutionary events at the factory level not from the perspective of political theory or politics at national level, but from the workplace tensions that arose between the workers, engineers, the representatives of state power.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down
Author: Renate Hürtgen

Abstract:

The official historiography of the 1989-1990 revolution in the gdr limits itself to the fall of the Honecker regime, the storming of the headquarters of the secret service (MfS) and the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989. Even left wing historians for a long time have hardly payed any attention to the forms of self-organization that developed in the factories, because in hindsight they appeared not sufficiently revolutionary or anti-capitalist to them. In contrast, this chapter focuses on the achievements in the factories, paying special attention to workers’ self-activity during the upsurge in the companies, and examining the forms of self-organization that were developed by them. These events in the companies, in which the employees managed to dissolve the old labour relations and embarked on an exciting learning process thinking about new, grass roots forms of worker-advocacy, are among the main achievements of the 1989-1990 upheaval in the gdr. The chapter describes this practically unknown history of workplace militancy, its main actors, and the visions for worker participation in company government that it entailed. Despite the lack of formal representation and the repression of all forms of independent labour movements in the gdr, workers in 1989-1990 for a short time managed to enter the stage of history, showing great self-consciousness in expressing their demands.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down

Abstract:

Revolutions are relatively new, rare and extraordinary events in history, which is perhaps one reason why historians and social scientists alike continue to be surprised and fascinated by them. Although this interest goes back to at least the early modern revolutions, it was what Eric Hobsbawm calls the “age of revolutions” that inspired the study of the subject in the nineteenth century. The revolutions of this period included the American (1765–1783), the French (1789–1799), the Haitian (1791–1804) and the Irish (1798) revolutions, in addition to the Latin American wars of independence and the revolutions that swept Europe in 1848. The next upsurge of studies emerged in the second half of the twentieth century, examining the paths of the Russian (1917), German (1918-1919), Chinese (1911 and 1949), Cuban (1953-1959), Hungarian (1956), Portuguese (1974) and Iranian (1979) revolutions. To this list, one should add the anti-colonial revolutions, such as in Algeria (1954–1962), and the revolutions that toppled the Stalinist regimes in 1989.

As the historiography of revolutions expanded in the twentieth century, the relationship between labour relations and revolutions and the “social question” more generally became marginalized, at least after the wave of revolutions immediately following the First World War. Two salient developments contributed to this trend: the deep scepticism of grand narratives and structural explanations beyond the structures of language and imaginations promulgated across fields by the cultural turn, and the declining influence of Marxism within academia as well as within actual revolutionary events. The essays in this volume, however, are part of reinstating the centrality of the relationship between labor relations and revolutions. Collectively, they probe the importance of shifts in labour relations for creating the preconditions of revolution, influencing their course, and shaping the outcome of revolutions. The historiographic introduction argues for returning the “social question” to the heart of revolution studies, and summarizes the main ways in which the essays collected in this volume advance the general understanding of modern revolutions from a global perspective.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down

Abstract:

In August 1918, the largest anti-Bolshevik workers’ revolt in Soviet history took place in Izhevsk in the Ural. It has always attracted the attention of historians, since a majority of Russian workers at the time of the October Revolution supported the Bolsheviks. Initially, the Bolsheviks were supported in Izhevsk, but the radical position of the local Bolsheviks and their allies, the maximalist social revolutionaries, caused the workers to revolt. The uprising went under the slogan “Power to the Soviets, not the party” — the same slogan that at the end of the Civil War was taken up in the 1921 Kronstadt revolt.

The victory of the uprising allowed the city Council of workers’ deputies to regain power. Under pressure from the right-wing socialists, power was transferred in September to the municipal bodies that existed in Russia after the February Revolution. But the civil democratic bodies did not manage to retain their power for long. Very quickly they were replaced by an openly reactionary dictatorship led by officers. A regime of counter-revolutionary terror was installed. The standard of living of workers fell.

The study of the Izhevsk uprising allows us to re-examine several large historiographical problems: the causes of changes in the mood of the people during the revolution; the social base of different regimes during the Civil War; the instability of democracy in a crisis; and the survival strategies of the labouring classes in conditions of social collapse.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down
Author: Knud Andresen

Abstract:

The transition from apartheid to a democratic South Africa has been called the “negotiated revolution”. The racist regime was not expelled by force of arms, but all political parties after 1990 negotiated a new constitution together. When the country became almost ungovernable in the 1980s due to protests and martial law, industrial relations had already developed into a place of negotiation. Non-racist trade unions established themselves as negotiating partners in the factories and fought apartheid. Leading business circles in South Africa and multinational companies also tried to overcome the crisis of apartheid in this way. The article examines these developments and the strategy changes of both the resistance movements against apartheid and within business circles with regard to industrial relations.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down
Authors: Tiina Lintunen and Kimmo Elo

Abstract:

Revolutions need people. How do these people connect with each other, and how can the revolutionary message pass from one person to another? This chapter aims to answer these questions by examining the revolutionaries who participated in the Finnish Civil War on the rebellious Red side in 1918. Red women from a particular district in Finland are chosen in order to analyse their connections and the networks created by membership of the labour movement, place of residence, and kinship. In order to see the layers of those connections, we utilize historical social network analysis rooted in digital history. This allows us to observe the significance and impact of regional, social networks and improves our understanding of structural factors affecting the intra-group dynamics among these revolutionary women. The results support the claim that historical network analysis is a suitable tool for exploring interaction patterns and social structures in the past, and to gain new insights into historical phenomena.

In: Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down