Social solidarity for all? Trade union strategies, labour market dualisation and the welfare state in Italy and South Korea

Niccolo Durazzi, Timo Fleckenstein, Soohyun Christine Lee

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Political-economic analyses of trade unions in post-industrial societies have shifted away from traditional class-analytic approaches to embrace insider/outsider and producer coalition arguments based on the assumption that unions hold on to the defence of their core constituencies in the face of labour market deregulation and dualisation. Challenging this conventional wisdom, we provide an analysis of union strategies in Italy and South Korea, two most-different union movements perceived as unlikely cases for the pursuit of broader social solidarity, and we argue that in both countries unions have successively moved away from insider-focussed strategies. We show a movement towards ?solidarity for all? in the industrial relations arena as well as in their social policy preferences. Furthermore, unions also explored new avenues of political agency, often in alliance with civil society organisations. We ascribe this convergent trend towards a social model of unionism to a response of unions to a ?double crisis?; that is a socio-economic crisis, which takes the form of a growing periphery of the labour market associated with growing social exclusion, and a socio-political crisis, which takes the form of a increasing marginalisation of the unions from the political process pursued by right- and left-wing parties alike.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)205-233
Number of pages29
JournalPolitics and Society
Issue number2
Early online date23 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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