European Unions: Labor's Quest for a Transnational Democracy

Gregor Gall

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    European Unions breaks new ground in the study of the project to create meaningful and effective forms of collectivism of organised labour in Europe. It combines both industrial relations and political economy concerns to present an illuminating study, and is predicated on a dual starting point. One is the age old search for collectivism across national borders within a globalising world but especially in Europe which dates back to Karl Marx’s involvement in the International Workingmens’ Association (or First International). Here the immediate goal is to stop ‘the race to the bottom’ and ‘social dumping’. The other is the particular political nature of European Union (EU), and in particular its democratic deficit (structurally and culturally). Erne uses these issues to open up the book by presenting a four-fold schema by which to investigate and understand union actions. This comprises strategies of Euro-technocratisation, Euro-democratisation, technocratic renationalisation and democratic renationalisation. Each quadrant varies with regard to the focus of decision making and action (EU, national) and the degree of popular control and influence (technocratic, democratic). From these, degrees of oppositionalism in ideology and methods can be deduced given that the EU is now dominated by an ascendant neo-liberalism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)512-514
    Number of pages3
    JournalWork and Occupations
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


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