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The international workshop The AFL-CIO and the International Cold War: Problems, Paradigms, and Pragmatic Responses at Congress Center Het Pand in Ghent (7-8 October 2011), will explore the Cold War international history of U.S. labor’s relations with worldwide organized labor. Scholarly papers based on a rising tide of scholarship in the field of international labor history will show how labor history can break the boundaries of national borders to be truly international in focus.

To draw attention to this reinvigorated field of study, the organizers have brought together scholars whose work spans five continents to offer a global approach to the phenomenon of an 'activist' American trade union movement. The participants have used recently opened labor archives that have been generally overlooked by Cold War scholars. The presentations will demonstrate how the AFL-CIO played a significant and usually overlooked role in Cold War international political history.

Topics covered include the relationship between the AFL-CIO and

  • the CIA
  • Solidarity
  • the Algerian Revolution
  • the Brazilian Coup of 1964
  • the Chilean Coup of 1973
  • 'Slave Labor' in the Soviet Union
  • Modernization
  • South Vietnam
  • women workers
  • post-war Italy
  • post-war France
  • Latin American labor
  • neutralism in sub-Saharan Africa 

Scientific Committee:

Prof. dr. Geert Van Goethem (Amsab-ISH/ Ghent University)
Prof. dr. Robert Waters (Ohio Nothern University),
Dr. Magaly Rodriguez Garcia (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

For more information, contact Geert Van Goethem.



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Organized by Amsab-Institute of Social History

With the collaboration of:

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collaboratorium Social History
Ohio Northern University International Institute of
Social History

With the generous financial support of:

Gerrit Kreveld Foundation
ABVV-Textiel Kleding Diamant