The SAGE Handbook of Industrial Relations provides a systematic, comprehensive survey of the field. The result is a work of unprecedented scope and unparalleled ambition. It offers a compete guide to the central debates, new developments, and emerging themes in the field. It will quickly be recognized as the indispensable reference for teachers, students and researchers. It is relevant to economists, lawyers, sociologists, business and management researchers, and Industrial Relations specialists.

Chapter 17: International Actors and International Regulation

International Actors and International Regulation

International actors and international regulation

Introduction

Industrial relations (IR), as a field of study, is oriented around the nation-state. When Dunlop (1958) proposed the concept of an industrial relations system, this was nationally bounded; though his aim was in part to compare and contrast different national systems, the idea of an international system was not addressed. Yet can we speak of an international industrial relations system? Writing of developments within the European Union (EU), Jensen et al. (1999) argue that we can identify supranational equivalents of Dunlop's three actors-representative organizations of workers and employers, and government agencies-and that their interactions are creating a supranational body of rules. Hence, they conclude, a European industrial relations system exists. The same might be said of ...

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