UCL Press and International Institute of Social History cooperate on major new open-access book series Work Around the World

Posted on May 25, 2023 by Alison Fox

We are delighted to announce that UCL Press and the International Institute of Social History (IISH) have joined forces to launch the open-access book series Work Around the World: Studies in Global Labour History. This exciting collaboration will delve into the intricate connections between work, labour relations, social and economic inequalities, and individual and collective responses to these challenges.

Drawing on research conducted at the renowned Institute in Amsterdam, the series promises valuable insights into the evolving landscape of work and its profound impact on society. The open-access nature of the series ensures that these important perspectives will be accessible to a wide audience.

The series is expertly edited by Karin Hofmeester, IISH’s Director of Research, and Ulbe Bosma of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Aad Blok, IISH’s Head of Publications and editor of International Review of Social History joins them as Executive Editor. Together with an international team of advisors, they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the project.

The inaugural title for the series is Marcel van der Linden’s The World Wide Web of Work: A history in the making, published on 9 May. This compelling book argues that ‘globalisation’ and modern labour management originated in agriculture in the Global South and were only later introduced in Northern industrial settings. It re-evaluates the core concepts ‘capitalism’ and ‘workers’, and refines notions such as ‘coerced labour’ and ‘labour markets’, to make a new analysis of the connections between labourers in different parts of the world.

Pat Gordon Smith, UCL Press commissioning editor, voiced her enthusiasm for the series. ‘The Institute is rightly respected internationally for its expertise in global labour history. Partnership with UCL Press’s extensive reach through open-access publishing will give the series great power to shed light on the intricate dynamics of work for a global readership. I am excited to be part of the venture.’

Together, UCL Press and IISH aim to use open-access dissemination to foster dialogue and engagement among scholars, researchers and the wider public. We are now looking to grow the series, and to publish titles that will feature work from scholars based ‘around the world’ themselves. Look out for news.

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