The project Plants, People and Work: The Social History of Cash Crops in Asia, 18th to 20th Centuries started in 2007with a 500,000 euro grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (N.W.O.). It fits in the central 'Global Labour History' research program of the IISH.
Traditionally, acquisitions related to the Netherlands have included socialism and the labor movement in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the 1970s, the social movement has expanded to include environmental issues, human rights, squatters, and similar subjects. The legacy of these new social movements can be found at the IISH as well.
The IISH research group consists of around 10 senior researchers, added by a varying number of postdoc researchers and PhD students. In addition, the IISH receives Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Guest Researchers. All in all, the research group consists of 30-40 researchers.
Global Labour History is not a theory but a field of attention. It concerns the history of all those people who through their work have built our modern world - not only wage labourers, but also chattel slaves, sharecroppers, housewives, the self-employed, and many other groups.
The Handbook Global History of Work provides an overview of research findings of the daily routines of workers in different parts of the world and how they have changed over time. It also seeks to be the basis of further research.