Big changes are often the unintendend consequences of attempts to keep things as they are. This paradoxical mechanism, first described by the paleontologist Alfred Romer, is of relevance in many research areas, including the study of social movements.
In his farewell lecture Walking Fish. How Conservative Behaviour Generates and Processes Radical Change Marcel van der Linden shows to which extent this theory can be applied to social and economic history.
About Marcel van der Linden
Marcel van der Linden is Senior Fellow at the International Institute of Social History, where he served as Research Director between 2001 and 2014. He was also, since 1997, professor of Social Movement History at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He received his PhD (1989) cum laude at UvA, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Oslo (2008). He received the René Kuczynski Prize in 2009, and the Bochumer Historikerpreis in 2014. He was visiting professor in Vienna (2003 and 2008), held the Marcel Liebman Chair at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2009-10), and was Concurrent Professor at the University of Nanjing (2009-12). He is a co-founder of the Association of Indian Labour Historians (1996), the European Labour History Network (2013) and the Global Labour History Network (2015). He is also President of the International Social History Association (2005-10, 2010-15, 2015-20). His many books and articles have been published in sixteen languages.