Annual IALHI Conference

14 September 2022 - 0:00 — 17 September 2022 - 12:00

The struggle against right-wing populist/radical and extreme right-wing movements
52nd Annual Conference Of The International Association Of Labour History Institutions (IALHI)
Swiss Social Archives, Zurich, Switzerland
14-17 September 2022

Call for papers
The rise of right-wing populists to the top of democratic states in recent years has revealed the crisis of democracy as a form of government. At the same time, there has been an upsurge in right-wing extremist networking and attacks, while surveys have noted an increase in racist and antisemitic attitudes. From a very early stage, left-wing groups have observed and struggled against these movements. To be sure, right-wing populist and far-right organizations have developed very differently in diverse conjunctures and countries since their emergence, adopting different forms and addressing dissimilar societal problems with more or less success. Although after 1945 fascism and national socialism were discredited in Western countries as misanthropic ideology, a stream of continuity can be observed over time, at least in Europe, leading up to open worship today. We encourage to submit proposals that cover the topic since the 1920s, but we will try to focus on the period after 1945 up to the present.

The central question of our conference would be how the different actors of the labour movement have dealt with this challenge. How have they observed and fought these movements? What do archives and libraries contain on this topic? How can the holdings be described and made accessible to current research interested in the development of right-wing populism/extremism and also to research focused on combating these movements and defending democracy? Contributions should also address questions of content in order to bring together previous research with the collections, either in analogue or digital form.

On Thursday, 15 September, there will be opportunity for IALHI members to give short presentations (5- 10 min.) on their current projects and activities and to discuss trends and challenges of digitisation at several workshops. One panel will be focused on next year’s 50th anniversary of the European Trade Union Confederation and we would like to ask for special presentations on this topic as well.

Proposals (500 words) for topical and project presentations, along with a brief professional profile (150 words), must be submitted by 27 June 2022 to Conference participation is without a fee, however travel and accommodation costs are at your expense. As Zurich is a central hub of the European railway system, we suggest to participants from neighbouring countries to travel climate-friendly by train rather than plane. Information on hotels, public transports, restaurants and current Covid regulations can be found on the website of Zürich Tourismus ( Depending on the pandemic situation, the conference will be held in a hybrid way. Participants that are unable to travel to Switzerland will have the opportunity to join remotely and present papers online.