Théo Georget is a second-year contract doctoral student at the University of Lorraine. He is currently writing a thesis in contemporary history on the effects of deindustrialization in Longwy in the last quarter of the 20th century. He is also a lecturer at the University of Lorraine in 19th century political history and contemporary economic and social history. After obtaining a master’s degree at the same university, he spent a few years traveling and holding various jobs. Events as varied as a personal reflection on the working-class trajectory of part of his family, the reading of several novels set in post-industrial territories, and the emergence of the Yellow Vests movement in France led him in 2018-2019 to develop a research project on the economic, social, and political history of post-industrial Lorraine, in particular around the Longwy basin.  

Project statement “The workers’ worlds of the Longwy basin under the test of deindustrialization (1979-2003).”   

This research work examines the consequences of industrial restructuring, and in particular the decline of the steel industry, on the workers’ worlds of the Pays-haut. These are working-class worlds with international connections that were structured around iron work for more than a century and that were profoundly disrupted by the economic and social changes of the 1980s and 1990s. It also questions the restoration of the modes of workers’ resistance that developed locally in reaction to these processes of industrial restructuring. Indeed, the various workers’ struggles that punctuated this historical cycle are significant in more ways than one. The challenge has been to take the conflict outside the workplace in a spectacular way in order to make it more visible to the rest of the population and to give it a media impact, thus allowing the workers’ movement to establish a relationship of strength not only with the employers, but also with the state. Finally, it examines the political culture of the mobilized workers’ communities and the dissensions that can affect them internally.