Appel à contributions: Networks of labour. International officers and social networks in the history of the International Labour Organization.

Date limite d’envoi de proposition de communication: 15 juin 2022 / 15 June 2022

Date: 27-28 octobre 2022 / 27-28 October 2022

Over the last 20 years, historiography has observed that international institutions are ideal case-studies for the study of transnational connections. Such an analysis can be made on several levels: in addition to investigating institutional structures or founding principles, an examination of the concrete functioning of these bodies allows us to analyze not only the forms and strategies of interstate political relations, but also the transnational circulation of problems, proposals, and people. From this point of view, the emergence of international organizations after WWI is linked to the appearance of a new figure in the world of work: the international officer, embedded within – and in turn the producer of – broader political and epistemic networks. The concept of “epistemic network” was introduced by Jasmien Van Daele and then adopted by Sandrine Kott to define and analyze a part of the social linkages revolving around the International Labour Organization (ILO), which was founded in 1919 to strengthen the protections of workers and the triangular dialogue between trade unions, business representatives, and public authorities. Against this setting, epistemic networks are defined by intense exchanges and debates characterized by high specialization, by sharing practices that are first spontaneous and then slowly formalized, and by the aim to elaborate proposals that move beyond the dimension and purpose of the single nation state.

Lieu: Rome

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