Labor Relations and Transformation “From Below”

Transformation as we define it is a macro-level process with micro-level consequences. Understanding the “great transformation” thus involves examining the many “little transformations” that shape the everyday lives of people. A key site of such changes is the workplace. The transformation of labor relations in the shift from state socialism to capitalism, but also in the context of neoliberalization more generally, is of particular interest for the work of RECET. Since 2016, the center’s first nucleus has been developing a comparative project on large enterprises, with a special focus on shipbuilding. As a symbol of both socialist and capitalist high modernity and global in orientation and competition, the sector lends itself particularly well to global comparisons, especially between Eastern Europe and East Asia. But this research area is also open to the study of other sectors of the economy, as well as other segments of society where it is possible to observe transformation processes “from below.”

Researchers and projects:

State-Socialist Citizenship and its Collapse in Poland: Rewriting Postwar History from Below
Comrades in Arms: A Global History of Czechoslovakia’s Weapons Industry, 1954-1994
Agents of Globalisation. Yugoslav Enterprises between Nonaligned Transnationalism and Socialism
A Breach in the System: The ‘Polonia Firms’, 1976-1994
Transformation in Eastern Germany on the example of VEB Werk für Fernsehelektronik
Transformations from Below: Shipyards and Labor Relations in the Uljanik (Croatia) and Gdynia (Poland) Shipyards since the 1980s (completed)
Trucking Europe: The Triple Transformation of European Freight Companies since the 1980s (completed)