Trade Unions and Democracy: Strategies and Perspectives

TitleTrade Unions and Democracy: Strategies and Perspectives
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHarcourt, M., and Wood, G.
PublisherManchester University Press
CityManchester, England
Keywordsdemocracy, economics, neo-corporatism, policy, trade unions

Available for the first time in paperback, this book explores the role of trade unions as products of, and agents for, democracy. The crisis facing established democratic institutions in the advanced societies has been widely noted. In response, there has been increasing interest in the role of civil society actors, ranging from established socio-political collectives to new grassroots organizations. On the one hand, conventional wisdom holds that organized labor in the advanced societies has remained locked in a cycle of political marginalization and decline. On the other hand, unions continue to represent a significant component of society within most industrialized countries. Indeed, in many cases, they have demonstrated a capacity for effective renewal and for co-ordinating their efforts with other civil society actors as part and parcel of the current groudswell of public opinion against the neo-liberal orthodoxy.

The book brings together a distinguished panel of leading and emerging scholars in the field, and provides a critical assessment of the current role of unions in society, their capacity to impact on state policies in such a manner as to ensure greater accountability and fairness, and the nature and extent of internal representative democracy within the labor movement.

This volume will be of interest to students and academics in the fields of industrial relations, critical management studies, political studies and sociology, as well as trade union and community activists. (publisher's statement)