1st Edition

Industrial Conflict in Modern Britain

By James E Cronin Copyright 1979
    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    First Published in 1979, Industrial Conflict in Modern Britain examines the unique rhythm of British strikes since the 1880’s and suggests that the explosive pattern of recurring strike waves provides the key to understanding both the evolution of British industrial relations and the major changes that have taken place in working class culture and behaviour. Two major themes emerge from this analysis: to explain how and why strikes themselves occur, and the association between industrial conflict and social relations.

    This thorough critique of prevailing research and concept within labour history, provides insight into the cause of strike waves, the varying propensity of workers in different industries to engage in strike action, and into the general history of British trade unionism. This is a must read for scholars and researchers of British labour history, British trade unionism and Industrial sociology.

    List of Tables and Figures Preface 1. Introduction: Strikes and Society in Modern Britain 2. Theories of Industrial Conflict 3. The Peculiar Pattern of British Strikes 4. Towards an Historical Model of Strike Activity 5. Three Great Leaps- 1889-90, 1910-13, and 1919-20 6. Defeat, Reorientation and Renewal, 1919-74 7. Industrial Contrasts 8. Conclusion Appendix A Appendix B Index


    James E. Cronin is Research Professor in History who has long taught British, European, comparative and international history. His research interests have involved the relationship between states and social structures, parties, and the rise and fall of the Cold War world order.

    Reviews of the original publication:

    ‘James Cronin has written an important, interesting and original book on British strikes. In seeking an explanation of the peculiarities of British strike activity he rejects many of the conventional arguments of industrial sociologists and industrial relations writers… Instead Cronin adopts an approach which combines a broadly historical materialist framework with a strong emphasis upon the rational and purposive role of strike activity from the subjective standpoint of the working man or woman faced with the anarchic contradictions and pressures of capitalist development.’

    Ian Rutledge, Science & Society, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Spring, 1982)