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 MPIfG Books



Lucio Baccaro and Chris Howell
Trajectories of Neoliberal Transformation
European Industrial Relations Since the 1970s

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017
261 pages
ISBN 978-1-1070-1872-3 | £69.99 (hardback)
ISBN 978-1-1076-0369-1 | £22.99 (paperback)

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Abstract | Contents | Authors | Reviews




This book has both empirical and theoretical goals. The primary empirical goal is to examine the evolution of industrial relations in Western Europe from the end of the 1970s up to the present. Its purpose is to evaluate the extent to which liberalization has taken hold of European industrial relations and institutions through five detailed, chapter-length studies, each focusing on a different country and including quantitative analysis. The book offers a comprehensive description and analysis of what has happened to the institutions that regulate the labor market, as well as the relations between employers, unions, and states in Western Europe since the collapse of the long postwar boom. The primary theoretical goal of this book is to provide a critical examination of some of the central claims of comparative political economy, particularly those involving the role and resilience of national institutions in regulating and managing capitalist political economies.



1  Introduction: Trajectories of European Industrial Relations
2  Arguing for Neoliberal Convergence
3  Quantitative Analysis of Industrial Relations Change
4  Constructing a Liberal Market Economy: The Collapse of Collective Regulation in Britain
5  State-Led Liberalization and the Transformation of Worker Representation in France
6  Softening Institutions: The Liberalization of German Industrial Relations
Co-authored with Chiara Benassi
7  "Well Burrowed, Old Mole!": The Rise and Decline of Concessionary Corporatism in Italy
8  The Conversion of Corporatism: Reengineering Swedish Industrial Relations for a Neoliberal Era
9  Actors, Institutions and Pathways: The Liberalization of Industrial Relations in Western Europe
10  From Industrial Relations Liberalization to the Instability of Capitalist Growth



Lucio Baccaro is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne.
Chris Howell is Professor of Politics at Oberlin College.



"For those who seek to bring about the end of neoliberalism, Trajectories is essential reading. Baccaro and Howell make it unmistakably clear that a revival of trade unions, collective solidarity, and working-class mobilization – in short, a shift in the balance of class power – will be necessary to achieve this goal. Whether it will be sufficient is another question altogether. This book will help those who wish to build a better future to avoid the mistakes of the past, and see clearly what they are up against."
Review by Daniel Kinderman, in: Catalyst: A Journal of Theory and Strategy 2 (4), 2019.
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