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Radical Unions in Europe and the Future of Collective Interest Representation


Edited By Heather Connolly, Lefteris Kretsos and Craig Phelan

This book analyses contemporary trends in radical unionism in Europe. It contains nine country case-studies that probe the limits and possibilities of trade union renewal with a focus on radical activity. The editors follow a broad definition of radical unionism, including trade union organisations that can be characterised as radical either in terms of ideology and political identity or in terms of organising and mobilising activity. The ongoing economic crisis and consequent austerity measures, and employers’ strategies for increasing labour market flexibility have encouraged the deregulation of capitalism in Europe. The question this book asks is whether radicalised unionism, political action and grassroots activism present opportunities for union renewal and collective interest representation in this economic context. This question is examined in nine national contexts with diverse industrial relations frameworks and trade unions. The editors assess the degree to which we are witnessing the emergence of ‘radical political unionism’ as an alternative model of trade unionism in Europe, focused on class struggle, engagement in social movement activity beyond the workplace, and politicised union strategies aligned to new left-wing political formations.
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Notes on Contributors


PIOTR ANTONIEWICZ is Lecturer at the Institute for Sociology, University of Wroclaw.

ELANOR COLLEONI is a Research Fellow at Copenhagen Business School, Department of Intercultural Communication and Management.

HEATHER CONNOLLY is Senior Lecturer in the Department of HRM at Leicester Business School, De Montfort University.

RALPH DARLINGTON is Professor of Employment Relations at Salford Business School, University of Salford.

CARLOS J. FERNÁNDEZ RODRÍGUEZ is Professor of Sociology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

MANUELA GALETTO is Assistant Professor in the Industrial Relations Research Unit of Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.

RAFAEL IBÁÑEZ ROJO is Professor of Sociology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

LEFTERIS KRETSOS is Senior Lecturer of Employment Relations and HRM and an active member of the Workplace Employment Research Unit (WERU) at University of Greenwich.

STEFANIA MARINO is an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellow at the Manchester Business School.

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