Work and Employment Relations in Southern Europe


Work and Employment Relations in Southern Europe

The Impact of De-regulation, Organizational Change and Social Fragmentation on Worker Representation and Action

9781789909531 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Carlos J. Fernández Rodríguez, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain and Miguel Martínez Lucio, Professor of International HRM and Comparative IR, Work and Equalities Institute, University of Manchester, UK
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 78990 953 1 Extent: 208 pp
Positioning industrial relations in a discussion that is sensitive to broader political, historical, and ideological tensions, this insightful book offers reflections on the politics of de-regulation that have developed in southern European work and employment relations over the past 20 years.

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Positioning industrial relations in a discussion that is sensitive to broader political, historical, and ideological tensions, this insightful book offers reflections on the politics of de-regulation that have developed in southern European work and employment relations over the past 20 years.

Interwoven with case studies from Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, the book reviews critical debates and issues related to de-regulation in employment relations and neoliberalism in southern Europe. Taking stock of major changes and crises affecting these national contexts over time, from austerity politics to the COVID-19 pandemic, chapters investigate how new voices, actors, and social movements are beginning to emerge and engage with the politics of work. The book ultimately posits that debates on production and work need to pay closer attention to changes in patterns of consumption and the changing nature of worker voice, and highlights how these changes are being used to undermine collective and social rights.

Surveying political shifts in collective worker voice and representation over time, the book will benefit students and scholars of industrial relations, labour studies, the sociology of work, and employment politics. Its evaluation of the impact of de-regulation strategies imposed across southern Europe will prove invaluable to practitioners and policymakers involved in public employment and industrial relations.
Critical Acclaim
‘This is an important and timely book. The immediate effects of the 2008 financial crisis on the economies of Southern Europe are well documented, but the longer term consequences on industrial relations are less well understood. This edited collection presents a wide ranging exploration of the effects of crisis on employment emphasising in particular changes to the collective regulation of work. An important overview of the complex and changing dynamics of these key economies.’
– Melanie Simms, University of Glasgow, UK

‘This book’s contribution to the labor literature on Southern Europe is theoretically rich and timely. The authors provide a valuable update, covering the years after the financial crisis, and they correct some oversimplified narratives stressing austerity and de-regulation. They demonstrate continued liberalization in employment relations, but also renewed state intervention and mobilization of radical trade unionists, especially in the so-called gig economy.’
– Ian Greer, Cornell University, US

‘This book is so much more than an outstanding analysis of the impact of neoliberal policies of de-regulation and marketization in Southern European countries; it is also an excellent invitation to think outside the box by reframing our understanding of change in industrial relations and political economy.’
– Torsten Müller, European Trade Union Institute, Belgium
Contributors: Luis Enrique Alonso, Sabrina Colombo, Carlos Jesús Fernández Rodríguez, Rafael Ibáñez Rojo, Chara Kokkinou, Jon Las Heras, Martí López-Andreu, Stefania Marino, Miguel Martínez Lucio, Maria Mexi, Beltrán Roca

Preface viii
1 Introduction: politics, regulation and work under the long
shadow of neoliberalism in Southern Europe 1
Carlos J. Fernández Rodríguez and Miguel Martínez Lucio
2 The obsession with deregulation, austerity and
technological change: the political dimensions of
regulatory change and their outcomes in Spain 32
Carlos J. Fernández Rodríguez, Rafael Ibáñez Rojo and
Miguel Martínez Lucio
3 Austerity, work and politics: assessing deregulation and
political change in Portuguese industrial relations 51
Miguel Martínez Lucio
4 Regulation and representation in Italian industrial
relations: between continuities and contradictions 73
Sabrina Colombo and Stefania Marino
5 Crisis, deregulation and the rise of the gig economy:
Greek industrial relations and social partnership under stress? 93
Maria Mexi and Chara Kokkinou
6 The political uncoupling of industrial relations and labour
market change in Southern Europe 113
Martí López-Andreu
7 New practices in industrial relations: radical unionism in
the European periphery 137
Jon Las Heras and Beltrán Roca
8 The emergent challenges of contemporary capitalist
models and practices: the dynamics of the platform and
gig economy and its social consequences for industrial
relations in Southern Europe 163
Luis Enrique Alonso and Carlos J. Fernández Rodríguez

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