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Trade unions, politics and parties: is a new configuration possible?

Hyman, Richard and Gumbrell-McCormick, Rebecca (2010) Trade unions, politics and parties: is a new configuration possible? Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 16 (3). pp. 315-331. ISSN 1024-2589

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1024258910373863


Trade unions are not merely economic (or ‘industrial relations’) actors: they are necessarily protagonists in the political arena. Regulating the labour market is a question of power resources. Yet if unions are inescapably both economic and political actors, the relationship between the two roles is complex and contradictory, and the priority assigned to each varies across countries and over time. Four factors seem of particular importance in explaining these distinctive patterns: ideology, opportunity structures, organizational capacity and contextual challenges. We explore these issues with reference to ten west European countries, and end by pointing to some of the ideational and practical reasons why unions must explicitly redefine their political identities.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 The Authors
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2011 16:51
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 18:57

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