Beyond the chains that bind: the political crisis of unions in Western Europe

Taylor, Graham and Mathers, Andrew and Upchurch, Martin (2011) Beyond the chains that bind: the political crisis of unions in Western Europe. Labor History, 52 (3). pp. 287-305. ISSN 0023-656X


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The dynamics of neo-liberal restructuring have generated serious tensions in the institutional alignments between social democratic political parties and labor unions in Western Europe. This article explores the origins, development and consequences of the resulting political crisis through a detailed analysis of the institutional alignment of parties and unions in Sweden, Germany, UK and France. The authors reject the argument that the changing contours of the party-union nexus can be understood solely on the basis of a rational choice analysis of labor movement actors in favor of an account that also highlights the importance of historical path dependency and ideological orientation. The resulting complexity of union responses to the crisis of the party-union nexus is explored through the construction of a typology that charts union reorientation along the dimensions of accommodation with, or resistance against, neo-liberalism and within and beyond the national political context. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER].

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Employment Relations group
Citations on ISI Web of Science:0
ID Code:8185
Notes on copyright:Pre-print version may be archived.
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Deposited On:13 Oct 2011 07:02
Last Modified:30 Apr 2015 13:39

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