Har fackliga ledare varit identitetsentreprenörer? en undersökning av ledares betydelse för facklig enhetlighet och styrka i den tidiga arbetarrörelsen

Tidsperiod: 2015-01-01 till 2017-12-31

Projektledare: Jenny Jansson

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 3 150 000 SEK

The labor movement played a crucial role in the development of democracy and the welfare state in the 20th century. However, there were profound differences between the European labor movements in terms of size, cohesion, ideology, and influence. In some countries, such as the Nordic countries, the labor movement became coherent, strong and influential. In other countries, such as Germany and France, the labor movement split in different factions that fought each other. There are different explanations to the relative strength, cohesiveness and ideology of the labor movements in Europe. The most common explanations take its point of departure in structural variables. However, a new approach to understand the national differences between labor movements focuses on the leaders´ role in the labor movement and their abilities to construct a cohesive identity in the movement. In this project I examine the labor leaders´ function in the identity formation process in three labor movements, the German, the British, and the Swedish in the early decades of the 20th century. The study not only contributes to our understanding of the labor movement and the role of labor leaders, it also highlights how identity can be used by conscious actors for mobilization which is an important contribution and a highly relevant issue applicable to any social movement.