- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-0-7190-7252-9
- Pages: 272
- Price: £80.00
- Published Date: September 2006
- Series: Critical Labour Movement Studies
This book provides a detailed investigation and comparison of the trade unions of five EU member states: Austria, Britain, France, Germany and Sweden, and their positions on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Several European-level trade union organisations are also examined. The focus of this project, however, is not limited to EMU as a case study. Rather, EMU is regarded as a vehicle to assess trade unions' options and possibilities to respond to global structural change in general and to participate in the formation of the future economic-political system of the EU in particular.
Two principal hypotheses are investigated. Firstly, that a labour movement's position on EMU depends crucially on its length and degree of exposure to the competitive pressures of globalisation, and secondly, that those trade unions which lose influence within the domestic institutional set-up are most in favour of the establishment of an industrial relations system and social regulation at the European level to counter global pressures. By contrast, unions which continue to enjoy a strong position at the national level, are less likely to engage in European co-operation.
Part I. Trade unions, EMU and the transnational restructuring of social relations: theoretical and methodological considerations
1. Trade unions, EMU and neo-liberal restructuring in Europe
2. Transnational restructuring and the conceptualisation of labour as an international actor
Part II. Trade unions and the transnational restructuring of European social relations
3. Globalisation and the transnationalisation of the social relations of production
4. Globalisation and the transnationalisation of national forms of state
Part III. Trade unions and their positions on EMU and European co-operation
5. Trade union confederations and the attempt at coherence
6. Transnational social forces of labour and their support for EMU
7. National social forces of labour: the reluctance to engage in European co-operation
8. European trade unions and EMU: the emergence of labour as a regional actor?
Part IV. What future Union? the struggle for a social Europe
9. Trade unions and the future of the European model of capitalism
Andreas Bieler is Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham