Trade Unions in Western Europe: Hard Times, Hard Choices

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9780199644414: Trade Unions in Western Europe: Hard Times, Hard Choices

Trade unions in most of Europe are on the defensive: in recent decades they have lost membership, sometimes drastically; their collective bargaining power has declined, as has their influence on government; and in many countries, their public respect is much diminished.

This book explores the challenges facing trade unions and their responses in ten west European countries: Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Italy. Based on a substantial number of interviews with key union representatives and academic experts in each country, together with the collection of a large amount of union documentation and background material, the book gives an account of how trade unionism has evolved in each country, the main recent challenges that unions have faced, and their responses. The book engages with the debates of the past two decades on union modernization and revitalization, and more generally with theories of institutional change and the literature on varieties of capitalism.

Some observers ask whether unions remain relevant socio-economic actors, but challenging times can stimulate new thinking, and hence provide new opportunities. This book aims to show why trade unions are (still) important subjects for scientific analysis: first, as a means of collective 'voice' allowing employees to challenge management control and bringing a measure of balance to the employment relationship; second, as a form of 'countervailing power' to the socio-economic dominance of capital; and third, their potential as a 'sword of justice' to defend the weak, vulnerable and disadvantaged, express a set of values in opposition to the dominant political economy, and offer aspirations for a different--and better--form of society.

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About the Author:


Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick, Lecturer in Management, Birkbeck, University of London,Richard Hyman, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics

Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick is a former international trade union official. Since obtaining her PhD at the University of Warwick she has been teaching at Birkbeck College. She is one of the world authorities on international trade unionism, and her work has been cited by scholars and practitioners in many countries. She is Board Member and European Regional Representative for the Research Committee on Labour Movements, International Sociological Association.
Richard Hyman, formerly at the University of Warwick, is Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics and founding editor of the European Journal of Industrial Relations. He has written extensively on the themes of industrial relations, trade unionism, industrial conflict and labour market policy, and is author of a dozen books as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. His comparative study Understanding European Trade Unionism: Between Market, Class, and Society (Sage, 2001) is widely cited by scholars working in this field.

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"...one could argue that economic theorizing emphasizes the generalizable, while industrial relations emphasizes the contingent. lTrade Unions in Western Europe: Hard Times, Hard Choices makes a powerful case for the contingent. The ball is now back in the economists' court to refine our understanding of the generalizable nature of labor unions in our economies and societies." --lJournal of Economic Literature


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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Trade unions in most of Europe are on the defensive: in recent decades they have lost membership, sometimes drastically; their collective bargaining power has declined, as has their influence on government; and in many countries, their public respect is much diminished. This book explores the challenges facing trade unions and their responses in ten west European countries: Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Italy. Based on a substantial number of interviews with key union representatives and academic experts in each country, together with the collection of a large amount of union documentation and background material, the book gives an account of how trade unionism has evolved in each country, the main recent challenges that unions have faced, and their responses. The book engages with the debates of the past two decades on union modernization and revitalization, and more generally with theories of institutional change and the literature on varieties of capitalism. Some observers ask whether unions remain relevant socio-economic actors, but challenging times can stimulate new thinking, and hence provide new opportunities. This book aims to show why trade unions are (still) important subjects for scientific analysis: first, as a means of collective voice allowing employees to challenge management control and bringing a measure of balance to the employment relationship; second, as a form of countervailing power to the socio-economic dominance of capital; and third, their potential as a sword of justice to defend the weak, vulnerable and disadvantaged, express a set of values in opposition to the dominant political economy, and offer aspirations for a different-and better-form of society. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780199644414

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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Trade unions in most of Europe are on the defensive: in recent decades they have lost membership, sometimes drastically; their collective bargaining power has declined, as has their influence on government; and in many countries, their public respect is much diminished. This book explores the challenges facing trade unions and their responses in ten west European countries: Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Italy. Based on a substantial number of interviews with key union representatives and academic experts in each country, together with the collection of a large amount of union documentation and background material, the book gives an account of how trade unionism has evolved in each country, the main recent challenges that unions have faced, and their responses. The book engages with the debates of the past two decades on union modernization and revitalization, and more generally with theories of institutional change and the literature on varieties of capitalism. Some observers ask whether unions remain relevant socio-economic actors, but challenging times can stimulate new thinking, and hence provide new opportunities. This book aims to show why trade unions are (still) important subjects for scientific analysis: first, as a means of collective voice allowing employees to challenge management control and bringing a measure of balance to the employment relationship; second, as a form of countervailing power to the socio-economic dominance of capital; and third, their potential as a sword of justice to defend the weak, vulnerable and disadvantaged, express a set of values in opposition to the dominant political economy, and offer aspirations for a different-and better-form of society. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780199644414

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Descripción Oxford University Press, 2017. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. This item is printed on demand. Nº de ref. de la librería 0199644411

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