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Description - Trade Unions and the State by Chris Howell

The collapse of Britain's powerful labor movement in the last quarter century has been one of the most significant and astonishing stories in recent political history. How were the governments of Margaret Thatcher and her successors able to tame the unions? In analyzing how an entirely new industrial relations system was constructed after 1979, Howell offers a revisionist history of British trade unionism in the twentieth century. Most scholars regard Britain's industrial relations institutions as the product of a largely laissez faire system of labor relations, punctuated by occasional government interference. Howell, on the other hand, argues that the British state was the prime architect of three distinct systems of industrial relations established in the course of the twentieth century. The book contends that governments used a combination of administrative and judicial action, legislation, and a narrative of crisis to construct new forms of labor relations. Understanding the demise of the unions requires a reinterpretation of how these earlier systems were constructed, and the role of the British government in that process. Meticulously researched, Trade Unions and the State not only sheds new light on one of Thatcher's most significant achievements but also tells us a great deal about the role of the state in industrial relations.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691130408
ISBN-10: 069113040X
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 12-Feb-2007
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Chris Howell

Chris Howell is Professor of Politics at Oberlin College. He is the author of "Regulating Labor: The State and Industrial Relations Reform in Postwar France" (Princeton), and numerous articles on British and French industrial relations and labor politics.

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