The IISH conducts historical research on labour relations involving social and economic inequality and their consequences. In 2016 the importance of such research was more manifest than ever. In the West inequality was growing noticeably. Two of the most important events during the year un-der review – Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States – attest to this pressure.
Society needs answers. Long-term analyses, as in the iish research pro-gramme Global Labour History, contribute toward this end. For this type of research social-historical sources and data are indispensable, as well as sophisticated digital techniques to fnd and explore them. In this respect, the collection of the iish is unequalled. In the year 2016, the raison d’être of the IISH is crystal clear. Our challenge is to ensure the most meaningful expression possible. Aside from research quality or collection excellence, maximizing our impact on social debate and policy decisions have become key to our mission. For the iish, there is a world to win in terms of societal impact.
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