Economic and Geopolitical Crises and Waves of Social Unrest
This study – supported by a National Science Foundation grant (submitted with Beverly Silver) – seeks to shed light on the recent (post-2008) global upsurge of labor and social unrest by comparing it with analogous historical periods since the mid-nineteenth century. Because of its intensity and global spread, scholarly debates on the causes and significance of the recent protest wave have mushroomed, including debates around the class composition of the participants and the causal mechanisms linking unrest to economic crises and geopolitical transformations. This project aims to construct a new database on events of labor and social unrest worldwide from 1851 to the present using the digital newspaper archives of The New York Times andThe Guardian (London). By casting the analysis of the current global wave of social protest in a much longer temporal frame and broader geographical scope than is normally done, we will be able to directly address (and resolve) debates about this wave’s historical significance and novelty.