Introduction: transnational ideas, activities, and organizations in labour history 1860s to 1920s

Neville Kirk, Don MacRaild, Melanie Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


When a society like ours considers themes for its meetings and conferences there are inevitably discussions about what is current in labour history. Transnationalism has emerged as something of a vogue concept in recent years and much good work has been produced under its umbrella. Yet Labour History Review has concentrated on British history. Despite a long-standing commitment to international perspectives, our journal has remained wedded to themes and topics in which Britain is the focal point. Notwithstanding exceptions, the journal has seen relatively little output which focuses on comparative or transnational history. Unsurprisingly the traditional balance of the journal and the current levels of interest in non-national studies cropped up in discussions about what we should do for our 2008 conference. Recent and forthcoming publications, not least a popular, important study in our own book series, and a major new dictionary dedicated to transnationalism in the social sciences and humanities, made the timing seem right.Thus, in September 2008, the Society for the Study of Labour History held a conference entitled ‘A World of Labour: Transnational and Comparative History’ at the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster. In the same month, there were also conferences on the theme in South Africa and the United States. Moreover, further such conferences are planned. Clearly, there is a general view that transnational, global, and comparative approaches are potentially fruitful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-232
JournalLabour History Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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