1st Edition

The Transformation of Employment Relations in Europe
Institutions and Outcomes in the Age of Globalization

ISBN 9780415875936
Published June 4, 2013 by Routledge
248 Pages

USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Since the 1980s, the process of European economic integration, within a wider context of globalization, has accelerated employment change and placed a new premium on ‘flexible’ forms of work organization. The institutions of employment relations, specifically those concerning collective bargaining between employers and trade unions, have had to adapt accordingly. The Transformation of Employment Relations focuses not just on recent change, but charts the strategic choices that have influenced employment relations and examines these key developments in a comparative perspective.

A historical and cross-national analysis of the most important and controversial ‘issues’ explores the motivation of the actors, the implementation of change, and its evolution in a diverse European context. The book highlights the policies and the role played by different institutional and social actors (employers, management, trade unions, professional associations and governments) and assesses the extent to which these policies and roles have had significant effects on outcomes. This comparative analysis of the transformation of work and employment regulation, within the context of a quarter-century timeframe, has not been undertaken in any other book. But this is no comparative handbook in which changes are largely described on a country-by-country basis, but instead, The Transformation of Employment Relations is rather focused thematically. As Europe copes with a serious economic crisis, understanding of the dynamics of work transformation has never been more important.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction James Arrowsmith and Valeria Pulignano  2. Private Sector Employment Relations in Western Europe: Collective Bargaining Under Pressure? Keith Sisson  3. Worker Voice Under Pressure: Collective Workplace Representation and the Challenge of Multiplying Spaces and Actors Miguel Martínez Lucio and Maria González Menéndez  4. Employment Relations in the Public Services: Between Hierarchy and Contract Giuseppe Della Rocca  5. Emerging Systems of Employment Relations in Central Eastern European Countries Guglielmo Meardi 6. Wage Regulation in the Private Sector: Moving Further Away From a ‘Solidaristic Wage Policy’?Maarten Keune and Kurt Vandaele  7. Working Time in Europe James Arrowsmith 8. Transformations in Work Organisation and Labour Regulation Ludger Pries  9. Governing Complexity, Diversity and Uncertainty in the Changing European Space Valeria Pulignano  10. Employability Jonathan Winterton and Nigel Haworth 11. The ‘State Of Affairs’ of Flexicurity in Industrial Relations: Assessing Country Performance Using Transition Indicators  Ton Wilthagen, Ruud Muffels and Heejung Chung 12. Conclusion: The Transformation of Employment Relations within the European Union: a Common Process of Fragmentation

View More



Valeria Pulignano is Professor in Sociology of Labor and Industrial Relations at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

James Arrowsmith is Professor in the Department of Management and International Business at Massey University , New Zealand.


"This volume provides a highly valuable analysis of the process and outcome changes occurring in European employment relations. Written by top-flight researchers, the collection benefits from a thematic issue orientation. While it is no surprise that liberalization, de-regulation, and internationalization are pervasive and powerful, the persistence of significant within, and cross, country variation belies simple convergence notions". - Harry C. Katz, Cornell University, USA

"This is an important and timely book which examines the transformation of European employment relations resulting from the processes of liberalization, deregulation and internationalisation over the past two decades. Leading experts cover a wide range of issues using comparative analysis of key themes which reflect the increasing complexity and diversity within Europe". - Russel Lansbury, University of Sydney, Australia

"The considerable achievement of this innovative and authoritative comparative volume is to provide a compelling, thematically organised analysis of the increasing complexity of Europe’s employment relations under the dual pressures stemming from European integration and globalisation". - Paul Marginson, University of Warwick, UK

"This very rich book diligently maps, assesses and analyses the key trends in European IR since the 1990s. Have industrial relations at national level with regard to their actors, processes and outcomes converged or diverged over the past two decades? Have we witnessed a new level playing field of European industrial relations or has the social dimension of Europe stayed feeble and in its infancy? Is it appropriate to speak of ‘Europeanisation’ of industrial relations? These are only some of the questions addressed in this comprehensive publication which offers very interesting and thought provoking insights into some of the mega trends of European industrial relations in times of global economic crisis". - Christian Welz, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Ireland