The turn to transnational labor history and the study of global trade unionism

McIlroy, John and Croucher, Richard ORCID logoORCID: (2013) The turn to transnational labor history and the study of global trade unionism. Labor History, 54 (5) . pp. 491-511. ISSN 0023-656X [Article] (doi:10.1080/0023656X.2013.849923)


The transnational turn in the humanities and social sciences has had slender impact on the study of trade unionism in Britain. In industrial relations and labor history, the fields where most research into trade unions has been conducted, approaches have remained insular. This article reaffirms that national unions are building blocks in a global movement. Despite manifest failings, past and present, that movement remains potentially important in counteracting neoliberal globalisation. This paper examines the transnational paradigm adumbrated by labor historians and its relative lack of resonance among British academics. It demonstrates that there is an existing corpus of literature developed by specialists outside established fields. This work incompletely reflects recent theorizing about transnational historiography. Nonetheless, it provides a basis for developing studies of global trade unionism which use a plurality of approaches – rather than one-route recipes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue: Beyond National History
Research Areas: A. > Business School
A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Employment Relations group
Item ID: 13348
Useful Links:
Depositing User: John Mcilroy
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 09:10
Last Modified: 17 May 2020 14:44

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.