A Guide to the Handbook

  • Bernhard Ebbinghaus
  • Jelle Visser
Part of the The Societies of Europe book series (SOEU)


Trade unions are one of the major social institutions in modern industrial societies. Today, when they increasingly face pressures from social, economic and political changes at national and global levels, it is appropriate to look at their evolution over the last half of this century. Such a comparative portrait of union development in Western Europe since 1945 shows common trends and persistent divisions. A comparison across countries and time reveals how much union movements have been moulded by the social, political and economic development of the societies, markets and polities of which they are part. This handbook aims to map the variations in union organization and membership in fifteen Western European economies. The handbook’s country chapters, with introductory profiles, chronologies, cross-sectional and time-series tables, as well as comparative indicators in the second chapter, are intended to facilitate and encourage the comparative and historical study of modern trade union organization.


European Union Trade Union Collective Bargaining Industrial Relation Union Membership 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Bernhard Ebbinghaus and Jelle Visser 2000

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  • Bernhard Ebbinghaus
  • Jelle Visser

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