How do labour movements respond to European integration? Surveying the field

in European labour movements in crisis
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Chapter 2 outlines scholarship concerning the reaction of labour movements to European integration. The chapter commences with an examination of historic attempts by labour to respond to integration. Though political economists writing after the Maastricht Treaty emphasized processes of competition (Rhodes, 1998; Scharpf, 1999; Streeck, 1996), scholars who underline actor agency have focused upon initiatives which aim at cooperation; this literature examines European social dialogue (Falkner, 1998), unilateral efforts by unions to cooperate on a European scale (Erne, 2008) and Europeanization of social-democratic parties (Ladrech, 2000).

Notwithstanding achievements of this scholarship, such work inadequately theorizes the manner in which labour competition and/or cooperation affect substantive conditions in labour markets. Research on dualization is therefore evaluated; this literature provides valuable insight into the relationship between labour behaviour and substantive change, though fails to conceptualize forces external to nation states (Emmenegger et al., 2012; Palier and Thelen, 2010). Controversies regarding labour movements and the broader trajectory of European integration are also introduced. The manner in which theories such as neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism aid understandings of labour movements is appraised, before it is asserted that the reaction of labour to the crisis provides rich material for reconsideration of prevailing approaches.

European labour movements in crisis

From indecision to indifference



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