New Publication: Radical Unions in Europe and the Future of Collective Interest Representation

Connolly et al. coverThis book analyses contemporary trends in radical unionism in Europe. It contains nine country case-studies that probe the limits and possibilities of trade union renewal with a focus on radical activity. The editors follow a broad definition of radical unionism, including trade union organisations that can be characterised as radical either in terms of ideology and political identity or in terms of organising and mobilising activity. The ongoing economic crisis and consequent austerity measures, and employers’ strategies for increasing labour market flexibility have encouraged the deregulation of capitalism in Europe. The question this book asks is whether radicalised unionism, political action and grassroots activism present opportunities for union renewal and collective interest representation in this economic context. This question is examined in nine national contexts with diverse industrial relations frameworks and trade unions. The editors assess the degree to which we are witnessing the emergence of ‘radical political unionism’ as an alternative model of trade unionism in Europe, focused on class struggle, engagement in social movement activity beyond the workplace, and politicised union strategies aligned to new left-wing political formations.

Available for purchase here.

Heather Connolly is Senior Lecturer in the Department of HRM at Leicester Business School, De Montfort University.
Lefteris Kretsos is Senior Lecturer of Employment Relations and HRM and an active member of the Workplace Employment Research Unit (WERU) at the University of Greenwich.
Craig Phelan is Professor of Modern History at Kingston University London and editor of the journal Labor History.

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