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Trade unions and the politics of the European social model

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Ja Political Science (General)
  • Hd Industries. Land Use. Labor
Disciplines
  • Economics

Abstract

There is a consensus among European trade unions that economic integration should be complemented by a strong ‘social dimension’. What is far less clearly agreed is what ‘Social Europe’ means, and how it should be defended against the challenges inherent in a neoliberal approach to economic integration, the dominant logic of ‘competitiveness’, and the pressures for ‘modernization’ of social welfare. Unions’ ability to resist these challenges is weakened by their integration into an elitist system of EU governance in which mobilization and contention are inhibited. The article concludes that a new mode of trade union action is required if the ‘social model’ is to be sustained.

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