European Societies of Work in Transformation

CFP: a conference in London, September 2009

European Societies of Work in Transformation: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives on Great Britain, Sweden and West Germany During the Seventies
German Historical Institute London
Deadline: 01.08.2008

During the Seventies, many European countries experienced profound structural transformations that affected their character as industrial societies. In particular, the fundamental changes that reshaped the world of work galvanized public attention as much as they puzzled policy makers and social scientists. Moreover, countless people directly affected by the downturn made their grievances known in public. Focusing on Great Britain, Sweden and West Germany, this conference compares how three European industrial societies struggled to deal with challenges of economic change in a broad range of economic, social, and cultural settings. While the Seventies signalled the end of West Germany's much-vaunted "economic miracle," Britain experienced the difficulties in front of a backdrop of several decades of patchy economic performance. In Sweden, meanwhile, the Seventies brought new challenges after a sustained era of growth but mass unemployment did not manifest itself until the Ei! ghties. Our conference explores to what extent these different economic trajectories shaped public debates and private reactions as well as expectations in each country. We hope to open up this new field for comparative and transnational historical research.

We are particularly interested in papers that address one of the following issues, which are described in greater detail below. Comparative and transnational contributions are particularly welcome.