`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 In this comprehensive overview of trade unionism in Europe and beyond, Richard Hyman offers a fresh perspective on trade union identity, ideology and strategy. He shows how 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. The book demonstrates how these inherited traditions can serve as both resources and constraints in responding to the challenges which confront trade unions in

Challenges and Changes: The Variable Geometry of Trade Unionism

Challenges and changes: The variable geometry of trade unionism

‘Arguments about convergence and divergence have tended to dominate comparative industrial relations writing in Europe in the past few years’ (Smith, 1999: 16). Do the three national movements examined in the previous chapters provide evidence of a convergence in ideologies and identities? To a degree, certainly. All trade union movements have faced challenges in some respects similar: the declining importance of traditional core occupational and industrial constituencies; the weakening of the ties between work and other social identities; often, a less supportive political context; and the dilemmas associated with a harsher, more internationally competitive economic environment. To this catalogue may be added the fact that, on the defensive, ...

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