Posthumus fellow Professor Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk (Utrecht University) and Dr Rolf Bauer (University of Vienna / Central European University ) are the editors of the newly published Open Access publication Global Agricultural Workers from the 17th to the 21st Century, published by Brill publishers in its Studies in Global Histories series.
This publication, made possible by the TextileLab ERC project, explores the history of agricultural workers, a group that has long been underrepresented in labour history. The volume aims to change this by bringing together a collection of studies on the largest group of the global work force. The contributions cover the period from the early modern to the present – a period when the emergence and consolidation of capitalism has transformed rural areas all over the globe. Three questions have guided the approach and the structure of this volume. First, how and why have peasant families managed to survive under conditions of advancing commercialisation and industrialisation? Second, why have coercive labour relations been so persistent in the agricultural sector and third, what was the role of states in the recruitment of agricultural workers?