Trade Unions and the State: The Construction of Industrial Relations Institutions in Britain, 1890-2000

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9780691121062: Trade Unions and the State: The Construction of Industrial Relations Institutions in Britain, 1890-2000


The collapse of Britain's powerful labor movement in the last quarter century has been one of the most significant and astonishing stories in recent political history. How were the governments of Margaret Thatcher and her successors able to tame the unions?


In analyzing how an entirely new industrial relations system was constructed after 1979, Howell offers a revisionist history of British trade unionism in the twentieth century. Most scholars regard Britain's industrial relations institutions as the product of a largely laissez faire system of labor relations, punctuated by occasional government interference. Howell, on the other hand, argues that the British state was the prime architect of three distinct systems of industrial relations established in the course of the twentieth century. The book contends that governments used a combination of administrative and judicial action, legislation, and a narrative of crisis to construct new forms of labor relations.


Understanding the demise of the unions requires a reinterpretation of how these earlier systems were constructed, and the role of the British government in that process. Meticulously researched, Trade Unions and the State not only sheds new light on one of Thatcher's most significant achievements but also tells us a great deal about the role of the state in industrial relations.


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From the Back Cover:



Trade Unions and the State is a powerful rewriting of the UK story, one whose strength derives from its capacity to link a detailed and scholarly understanding of industrial relations detail with a wider theoretical framework. Well organized and elegantly written, it is a major contribution to the field of industrial relations."--David Coates, Wake Forest University


"Howell's masterful reinterpretation of a century of British industrial relations will force a fundamental reappraisal of the field, with far-reaching implications. This book will become the benchmark for future debate."--Joel Krieger, Wellesley College


About the Author:

Chris Howell is Professor of Politics at Oberlin College. He is the author of "Regulating Labor: The State and Industrial Relations Reform in Postwar France" (Princeton), and numerous articles on British and French industrial relations and labor politics.

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ISBN 10: 0691121060 ISBN 13: 9780691121062
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Chris Howell
Editorial: Princeton University Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 0691121060 ISBN 13: 9780691121062
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0691121060

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