WORCK Conference 3: Historicising Coercive Social Processes

The conference “Historicising Coercive Social Processes” is the final conference of the COST Action WORCK (Worlds of Related Coercion in Work), funded by the Horizon Europe programme of the European Union. The conference will take place at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague on 5–7 September 2023.

Legal philosopher Alan Wertheimer wrote that “our understanding of coercion underlies… our view of various social practices”. The opposite also holds true: Researching social relations in a given historical context is essential for understanding how coercion underpins the organisation of production, the administration of punishment, and interpersonal relations in conditions of power asymmetry. In turn, social practices can only be understood within processes such as valorisation, im/mobilisation, and punishment that converge to create the historical dimension within which we understand those practices.

Moving on beyond a research agenda that seeks to posit a dichotomy between free and unfree labour or design a spectrum of scalar shades of coercion between the opposite poles of freedom and unfreedom, the WORCK network has attempted to understand how practices and processes of labour coercion can illuminate social practices (and vice versa) at specific historical junctures and in various geographical settings.

This conference brings together scholars conducting empirical research on such practices and processes, as well as on the perspectives of historical actors and how they were entangled in social asymmetries.

For the programme of the conference, look at

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