In some western European countries trade unions and employers' organizations share responsibility with government for maintaining order and efficiency in the labour market as a matter of course. in others such a role is seen as an unacceptable interference with either the free market or the prerogatives of the state, or both. How can we explain these differences? How enduring are they? Do they matter? In the 1970s there seemed to be a growing popularity for the
first approach, leading to the explosion of interest in neo-corporatism; did all that evaporate during the ostensibly neo-liberal 1980s? Colin Crouch tries to answer these
questions with reference to fifteen western European nations. Using a combination of rational choice theory and historical analysis he traces the development of industrial relations systems in these countries from the 1870s to the present. He ends by seeking explanations for differences further back in time, showing that longer-term historical explanations of contemporary institutions are more necessary than most exercises in policy analysis prefer to accept. 'an
outstanding example of the fusion of theoretical economic analysis with historical perspective. Recommended at all levels' Choice 'It is difficult to do justice to this oustanding
book in a short review or at a single reading. Colin Crouch's ambitious comparative survey of states and industrial relations provides both an abstract framework for comparative study . . . and a framework for comparing the level and form of corporatism in industrial relations.' Political Studies
`It is difficult to do justice to this outstanding book in a short review or at a single reading. Colin Crouch's ambitious comparative survey of states and industrial relations provides both an abstract framework for comparative study ... and a framework for comparing the level and form of corporatism in industrial relations.' Political Studies
'This is a fine historical study as well as an outstanding example of the fusion of theoretical economic analysis with historical perspective. Recommended at all levels.'
R.W. Kern, University of New Mexico, Choice, Sep '93
'The book is clearly written and argued ... it is likely to be a major reference point for analysis of neo-corporatism in the future.'
Roderick Martin, University of Glasgow, Labour History Review, Vol. 58, No. 2, Autumn 1993
'Colin Crouch has written a major comparative study of industrial relations in western and central Europe since 1870. Crouch's book is valuable ... This is a well-researched and thoughtful contribution to the history of European industrial relations and will long remain a major work in its field.'
Chris Wrigley, University of Nottingham, Business History, April 1994
`Crouch's analysis covers a broad historical and geographical range: the extent and depth of the scholarship is impressive ... The book is well structured ... and contains valuable comments on specific issues, alongside the broad sweep of the argument.'
European Sociological Review
`An intellectual tour de force ... a more concentrated look reveals many original insights and fresh approaches to familiar problems ... there are many thought-provoking observations to be gleaned.'
Economic and Industrial Democracy