Reigniting the Labor Movement

Restoring means to ends in a democratic Labor Movement

By Gerald Friedman

© 2007 – Routledge

216 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415780018
pub: 2009-11-24
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415770712
pub: 2007-10-04
US Dollars$160.00

About the Book

A century of union growth ended in the 1980s. Since then, declining union membership has undermined the Labor Movement’s achievements throughout the advanced capitalist world. As unions have lost membership, declining economic clout and political leverage has left them as weak props upholding wages and programs for social justice. Since the earliest days of the labor movement, activists have debated the appropriate strategy, the mix of revolutionary and reformist goals and the proper relationship between labor unions and broader social and political movements. So long as the labor movement was growing, moving from gain to gain, debates over strategy could remain abstract, safely confined to academic quarters. Decline and impending failure, however, have now made these urgent debates.

Written in a readable style, this book uses information from sixteen countries including the UK, US, Germany and France to chart the fortunes of the labor movement over recent years. The author, based at one of the top centres for heterodox economics, examines the current debates over strategy and suggests ways of reigniting its fortunes.

Table of Contents

1. The Rise of the Labor Movement 2. Dimensions of Decline 3. Explaining Growth to Explain Decline 4. Explaining Growth Spurts 5. Why did Growth Stop? 6. Growth Dialectics 7. Can Growth be Restarted?

About the Author

Gerald Friedman is Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts, Amherst

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industrial Management
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Labor & Industrial Relations