Strikes and Social conflicts: Combined Approaches to Conflicts (Eighteenth Century to Present)

Strikes and Social conflicts: Combined Approaches to Conflicts (Eighteenth Century to Present)

Maison des Sciences de L’Homme, International Association Strikes and Social Conflicts
From - Until
15.05.2013 - 17.05.2013
Varela, Raquel

The second International Conference Strikes and Social Conflicts, organised by the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Dijon in partnership with the International Association Strikes and Social Conflicts, aims to open new avenues for thinking about social conflicts in a multidisciplinary and global perspective.

The proliferation of conflicts all over the world today and the profound redefinition of practices in the era of globalization calls for changing perspectives, for an international opening of our horizons and for precise examination of the diversity of practices and imaginaries mobilized by the protagonists.

The first perspective questions the temporalities of strikes and social conflicts. Reflection on the evolution of the forms of collective mobilization and action has generated a vast literature. Nevertheless, it seems their chronologies and links, their moments of acceleration and intensification of conflicts, be they European (1848, the post First World War) or global moments (strikes during the Cold War, 1968, the indignados movement), have yet to be questioned. Similarly, does the birth of the "modern strike" and more generally, the genesis of contemporary repertoires of action only concern the working class? What role should be assigned to the rural world? In this regard, the issue of social conflict must also be seen in a long-term perspective, questioning the mutations of industrial societies, the reconfiguration of the "moral economy", and the evolution of conflicts in popular environments and their extension to other social environments.

The second perspective aims to examine diversity in the practices of conflict. Political organizations and unions have long been the focus of attentions. Now we should also consider the diversity of actors involved, who are the source of the plural daily practices that characterize conflicts. We will examine how the protagonists coordinate to make action effective, how they survive during the conflict, how they communicate among themselves and with the outside. How do they punish the “scabs” and those that break with the protest group? How do strikes and conflicts redefine social relations within the community, the city, the factory? The question of relations between protagonists is essential here – gender and generational relations, relations between foreign and domestic groups, between dominated and dominant, etc.

The third perspective invites us to reconsider strikes and social conflicts starting from a reflection on the relevant scales of analysis, between global, comparative and cross-national approaches. This may include questioning transfers and transnational exchanges around a singular conflict, the circulation of slogans, supporters, protagonists, as well as the vectors that allow for the internationalization of the struggle (the various internationals or the media for example). But it may also include proposing comparative studies around a type of practice or a singular group beyond the usual boundaries. Proposals related to methodology or historiography are also welcome.

The final perspective intends to question the post-conflict situation. Here we intend to re-examine the most visible ways to put an end to a conflict (failure and/or victory, role of the state, repressive violence or reconciliation), but also more subtle forms such as the narratives about it, the construction of oblivion by removing its traces, or the issues raised by any strike or collective mobilization concerning the memories involved (how to reify the epic of conflict or to enrich the past?). The post-conflict situation also prompts the question of its effects in terms of redefinition of the logics of action and reconfiguration of standards and speeches. Does the conflict, even in its dramatic failure, inaugurate a sunrise or a sunset?

General information:

A dinner and an excursion will be organized.

General public: 10 euros
UB-UFC students: free


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