The International Dimensions of Resistance: Portuguese Colonial Labour Policies and Its Critics Abroad (1944–1962)
The historiography on colonial resistance is plural, encompassing different temporalities and geographies. By taking the questions of colonial labour and social policy within the Portuguese empire as the main analytical foci, this chapter contributes to that literature in two interrelated ways. First, by recovering the multiple instances that challenged Portuguese imperial legitimacy within international and transnational realms. Therefore, it stresses the need to approach, in an interconnected way, the dynamics of local social grievances and the mechanics of internationalization. Second, it shows that despite global pressures for decolonization, European colonial empires were able to give an instrumental use to international organizations. The labour question was a privileged topic through which authorities strengthened claims of imperial legitimacy amidst growing turmoil in other international institutions.