In 2013 the Pears Institute held an internal conference Boycotts – Past and Present. The conference broke new ground in addressing the history of boycotts from the eighteenth century to the present day.
In mounting the conference the Institute had two objectives: first, to create a forum for academic debate to better comprehend the causes, rhetoric and impact of boycott movements in the past; and second, to advance understanding of boycott movements in the present, including whether and how the current Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement directed against Israel sits within the debate on contemporary antisemitism.
This path-breaking event resulted in a volume of essays: David Feldman (ed.) Boycotts Past and Present: From the American Revolution to the Campaign to Boycott Israel, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.