1st Edition

Employment, Trade Unionism, and Class The Labour Market in Southern Europe since the Crisis

By Gregoris Ioannou Copyright 2022
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    The economic crisis has brought about a watershed in institutional, political, and social relations, reshaping the labour market and the class structure in southern Europe. This book provides a critical comparative assessment of the dynamics of change in the employment field, focusing on Spain, Greece, and Cyprus.

    The book assesses how the liberalization and deregulation processes and the promotion of market-enhancing reforms progressed in three different national settings, identifying the forces, agents, contexts, and mechanisms shaping the employment and industrial relations systems. The comparative perspective used deciphers the interplay of external and internal dynamics in the restructuring of the labour field in Southern Europe, examining austerity and its contestation in connection with prevailing societal ideologies and class shifts. The first part of the book sets the theoretical and historical context, the second is comprised of three empirical national case studies, and the third discusses comparatively the handling of the crisis, its impact, and its legacy from the standpoint of a decade later. The book presents differences in industrial relations systems, trade union forms, and class composition dynamics, accounting for the development of the crisis and the reshaping of the employment field after one decade of crisis.

    It will be of value to researchers, academics, professionals, and students working on issues of employment and industrial relations, labour market and labour law, political economy and class structure, as well as those interested in the contemporary society and economy of southern Europe in general, and Spain, Greece, and Cyprus in particular.

    Part I Southern Europe: the labour market and the crisis 1. The themes, the concepts and the field 2. Employment relations and crisis Part II The changing context of employment relations in Spain, Greece and Cyprus 3. Spain. Compression and upheaval 4. Greece. Suppression, contestation and levelling 5. Cyprus. Shock and resilience Part III Beneath and beyond the economic crisis: development, contention, and class struggle 6. Comparing and contrasting experiences and impact 7. Covid-19 and the new on-going crisis 8. The world of labour in Southern Europe from crisis to crisis


    Gregoris Ioannou is a political sociologist and research fellow at the Law School of the University of Glasgow, UK.

    "Spain, Greece and Cyprus were the three EU countries with the worst employment crisis in recent years. Gregoris Ioannou’s book is the first to examine them together and in detail, with a clear analytical approach that digs into the causes and consequences of the crisis, challenging the mainstream institutional explanations and proposing alternative prospects for Southern Europe’s labour markets." Prof. Guglielmo Meardi, Sociology of Economic Labour Processes, Scuola Normale Superiore Florence, Editor of the European Industrial Relations Journal


    "This book offers an indispensable review of recent changes in the fields of employment, trade union activity, political representation, social security, gender, and composition of the working class in Southern Europe. The study covers the impact of neoliberalism, the Global Financial Crisis, and COVID-19. Drawing upon the best literatures in the social sciences, law, and economic policy, the book examines how economic practices and social relations were (re-)regulated under neoliberalism and its crises. A valuable resource for our understanding of the dynamics of labour in contemporary Europe." Prof. Alfredo Saad Filho, Political Economy & International Development, King’s College London.


    "Employment, Trade Unionism and Class: The Labour Market in Southern Europe since the Crisis is a crucial contribution to the literature on how the implementation of economic reforms contribute to labour flexibility and economic precariousness. Gregoris Ioannou has strong command of the political economy of Southern Europe in exploring the transformation of trade unionism and its impact on class composition in Spain, Greece, and Cyprus in the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis. This book is a crucial contribution to the labour and political economy in Europe." Prof. Immanuel Ness, Political Science, City University of New York.


    "Gregoris Ioannou provides a detailed and insightful assessment of the changes in industrial relations systems in Southern Europe since the emergence of the 2007-2008 economic crisis. In charting effectively, the economic, social, and political dynamics in which industrial relations systems and labour regulation are embedded in, the analysis offers valuable lessons about the impact of these developments in the European periphery and beyond." Aristea Koukiadaki, Senior Lecturer in Labour Law, University of Manchester


    "This book is an important contribution to our understanding of how crises affect work and employment. Focusing on the long-lasting effects of the Great Financial Crisis and subsequent recession, the book looks in detail at the consequences for labour markets in Spain, Greece and Cyprus highlighting the role of agency in the process of institutional and labour market restructuring. By emphasising the choices open to actors, and by stressing that there are always choices even when alternative paths are sometimes less evident, the analysis presents a compelling explanation of how and why particular paths are chosen in moments of response to crisis. Reminding policy makers about the choices open to them and showing the problematic outcomes of paths previously travelled is a crucially important intellectual and practical agenda that this book centres." Prof. Melanie Simms, Work and Employment, University of Glasgow