CfP: Participation at Work: The History of Economic and Industrial Democracy

After years of silence, debates about the democratization of the economy are currently undergoing a significant resurgence in academic research and the broader public. Against the backdrop of burgeoning populist movements and a widely observed decline of popular support for democracy, scholars are suggesting that introducing or improving measures for democratic participation in industry can not only enhance productivity and economic growth, but also reinforce democratic values and institutions. While extensive dialogues on theoretical and contemporary aspects of economic and industrial democracy abound, our understanding of historical responses to democratic participation in industry remains remarkably fragmented. The proposed panel seeks to bridge this gap by soliciting contributions that shed light on diverse facets of economic and industrial democracy in the past.

We welcome submissions on all historical periods and geographical regions, with a particular emphasis on exploring non-Western experiences. While case studies are certainly welcome, we are especially eager to receive submissions that delve into historical theories and concepts of economic and industrial democracy, particularly within comparative or transnational context. Additionally, we encourage papers addressing conceptual intricacies, such as the nuanced distinction between economic and industrial democracy—a tension that is mirrored in the very title of this panel and working group. As the ELHN 2024 submission deadline for sessions approaches rapidly, we kindly request authors to submit abstracts of no more than 400 words no later than September 26, 2023. Please also include a brief biographical note of no more than 100 words. All abstracts and inquiries should be directed to the provisional spokesperson, Philipp Reick, at

While the conference will feature a hybrid format, we eagerly anticipate a strong presence of on-site participants. The panel itself will serve as the inaugural event for a new ELHN Working Group devoted to the history of Economic and Industrial Democracy. During the Uppsala Conference, we will dedicate time to officially launch the Working Group, appoint regular spokespersons, and engage in discussions regarding future topics and activities.


Philipp Reick (; Sophia Friedel (

Participation at Work: The History of Economic and Industrial Democracy. In: H-Soz-Kult, 01.09.2023, <>.