Unions and Globalisation: Governments, Management, and the State at Work, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Unions and Globalisation

Governments, Management, and the State at Work, 1st Edition

By Peter Fairbrother, John O'Brien, Anne Junor, Michael O'Donnell, Glynne Williams


254 pages

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In recent decades, trade unions have suffered major reversals and experienced declining memberships. Transnational corporations and state-owned multi-nationals have increasingly implemented deteriorating terms and conditions of employment, with vulnerable and insecure job contracts.

In this context, there has been a wide-ranging debate about the form of trade unionism, the bases for collective organization and struggle and the future of trade unionism. This book addresses these questions both theoretically, in relation to debates, as well as substantively via a series of selected studies. It is a must read for all those studying industrial relations, human resource management, the sociology of work and employment, economic sociology, economic and labor geography and business studies in general.


‘As a tightly argued, well-designed piece of work, it makes a distinctive contribution to debates on public management and industrial relations. Indeed, in so doing, it should be of interest to policymakers, practitioners and scholars across both domains.’ - Ian Kessler, King’s College London, UK in Journal of Industrial Relations, Jan 21, 2013

Table of Contents

1. State Restructuring in Two States 2. Changing State Management and Trade Unions: A Conceptual Analysis 3. Pathways to Change: The Restructuring of the Administrative State 4. Trade Unions Addressing Change 5. Remoulding the State Labour Process 6. The State, Depoliticisation and Unions 7. Public Sector Unions: Contesting Individualisation, Defending Collectivity 8. A Way Forward?

About the Authors

Peter Fairbrother is Professor of International Employment Relations and Director of the Centre for Governance, Work and Technologies, RMIT University, Australia.

John O’Brien is an Associate of the Industrial Relations Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Anne Junor is Deputy Director of the Industrial Relations Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Michael O’Donnell is Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Australia.

Glynne Williams is Lecturer in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Employment and Work Relations in Context

The aim of the Employment and Work Relations in Context Series is to address questions relating to the evolving patterns and politics of work, employment, management and industrial relations. There is a concern to trace out the ways in which wider policy-making, especially by national governments and transnational corporations, impinges upon specific workplaces, occupations, labour markets, localities and regions. This invites attention to developments at an international level, marking out patterns of globalization, state policy and practices in the context of globalization and the impact of these processes on labour. A particular feature of the series is the consideration of forms of worker and citizen organization and mobilization. The studies address major analytical and policy issues through case study and comparative research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Facility Management