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Understanding European Trade Unionism
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Understanding European Trade Unionism
Between Market, Class and Society

First Edition
  • Richard Hyman - London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

July 2001 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In this comprehensive and accessible overview of trade unionism in Europe and beyond, Richard Hyman offers a fresh perspective on trade union identity, ideology, and strategy. He argues that the varied forms and impact of different national movements reflect historical choices on whether to emphasize a role as market bargainers, mobilizers of class opposition or partners in social integration. He also shows how traditional identities have been strained by changes in class relations, economic environment, and political realignments in modern society. Understanding European Trade Unionism will enable its readers to develop a theoretical understanding of the complex evolution of the complex evolution of trade unionism, and the historical development and current dilemmas of trade union in a harsh environment. It shows how inherited traditions can serve as both resources and constraints in responding to the challenges which confront them in today's working world. Engaging, compelling and highly readable, Understanding European Trade Unionism both clarifies historical fact and enters into the current debate with a thought-provoking vision of the role of trade unionism in the Europe of today. This book is suitable for students and researchers alike in the field of industrial relations and labor history, as well as for courses in comparative politics, sociology, and international economics.

 
The Strategic Orientations of Trade Unionism
A Stylized Introduction

 
 
Trade Unions as Economic Actors
Regulating the Labour Market

 
 
Trade Unions and Class Struggle
Contesting the System

 
 
Trade Unions in Civil Society
Pursuing Social Dialogue

 
 
British Trade Unionism
Between Market and Class

 
 
German Trade Unionism
Between Society and Market

 
 
Italian Trade Unionism
Between Class and Society

 
 
Challenges and Changes
The Variable Geometry of Trade Unionism

 

`Engaging and essential reading for those interested in the historical and recent evolution of trade union movements in Europe' - Construction Labour Research

`The book combines theoretical analyses of trade unionism with short histories... is clearly written, well argued and largely jargon free' - Labour History Review

`[A] detailed and fascinating history of trade unions in the three countries [Britain, German, Italy] and lastly, considers how the unions could recover from the intense disarray of recent years' - Labour Research

`From a deeply reflective reconstruction of well over a century of national trade union experiences, Richard Hyman emerges with incisive questions for the European future. Can there be a co-ordinated diversity of trade union practice? How can a European trade unionism be built from below, rather than through top-down bureaucracies? Everyone concerned over the construction of a truly social Europe will learn much from this thoughtful and probing study' - Professor Colin Crouch, Istituto Universitario Europeo

`Well written and jargon free, this highly original book makes an important theoretical contribution that broadens our perspectives

on Industrial Relations' - George Strauss, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California, Berkeley

`This book provides a timely insight into organized labour in an increasingly capitalist world. Whether one agrees with Richard Hyman on a role for unions in post-modern societies is unimportant. This book asks all the pertinent questions that need to be asked by anyone curious about the future of trade unions in the twenty-first century. It provides a scholarly insight that begs reading by policy makers in labour, business and the government' - Professor Anil Verma, Rotman School of Management and Centre for Industrial Relations, University of Toronto; Past-President, Canadian Industrial Relations Association.

`A very innovative study of trade unionism, whose overall development is powerfully portrayed while offering at the same time a brilliant analysis of distinct types to be found within Europe' - Marino Regini, Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, Università degli Studi di Milano

From a deeply reflective reconstruction of well over a century of national trade union experiences, Richard Hyman emerges with incisive questions for the European future. Can there be a co-ordinated diversity of trade union practice? How can a European trade unionism be built from below, rather than through top-down bureaucracies? Everyone concerned over the construction of a truly social Europe will learn much from this thoughtful and probing study." - Professor Colin Crouch, Istituto Universitario Europeo

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