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Workers, Citizens, Governance

Socio-Cultural Innovation at Work

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Francesco Garibaldo, Mirella Baglioni, Catherine Casey and Volker Telljohann

This book pursues principal aims. First it describes and reviews current concerns in regard to the conditions of labour markets, production organizations, working conditions, and industrial and employment relations. Prominent among these concerns are the crisis in trade unions and in democratic labour market institutions, and the rise of what many critics regard as technocratic administrative powers in the displacement of democratic practices. Furthermore the book explores aspects of the search for socio-cultural innovation in the wide areas of work, industrial, organizational, management, and employment relations. It therefore deals with participatory democratic practices in the world of work and production, with citizenship, social cohesion, wider participation in education and training, as well as with cultural interests in identity, solidarity and non-market values.

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Industrial and Innovation Policies in the European Union. Matteo Lucchese and Mario Pianta

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139 Industrial and Innovation Policies in the European Union Matteo Lucchese and Mario Pianta The crisis of 2008 – that started as a financial crisis in the US – has invested Europe with a prolonged recession and with waves of speculative attacks against the countries on the “periphery” of Europe – Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy – with high public debt and low growth. For European economies this has meant high unemployment and a process of restructuring that has accelerated with the introduction in most countries – and in particular in those of the “periphery” – of austerity plans centred on the reduction of public expenditures, privatisations and the worsening of wages and working conditions. The aftermath of the crisis in Europe will depend on the forces at work in reshaping its economy. The dominant players, so far, are large firms with international systems of production, operating in the pursuit of short term profits, market power, financial rents. Their responses to the crisis so far have included drastic downsizing and plant closing; reduction of R&D, innovation and investment; concentration of production in the areas of greater strength and in the sectors of core businesses; consolidation and acquisitions, leading to more oligopolistic market structures; a further wave of international relocation of production towards industrialising countries with cost advantages and a large potential for growth in domestic mar- kets. Their decisions – in manufacturing and well as in services – affect the pos- sibility of economic recovery, the viability of suppliers and local economies, the opportunities for employment, professional qualifications...

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