Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy: Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy : Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas. / Ibsen, Christian Lyhne.

In: Comparative Social Research, Vol. 35, 2021, p. 69-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Ibsen, CL 2021, 'Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy: Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas', Comparative Social Research, vol. 35, pp. 69-90. <https://doi.org/10.1108/S0195-631020210000035004>

APA

Ibsen, C. L. (2021). Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy: Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas. Comparative Social Research, 35, 69-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0195-631020210000035004

Vancouver

Ibsen CL. Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy: Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas. Comparative Social Research. 2021;35:69-90.

Author

Ibsen, Christian Lyhne. / Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy : Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas. In: Comparative Social Research. 2021 ; Vol. 35. pp. 69-90.

Bibtex

@article{499f69eb7b304cdaa5417b5c293c7e9e,
title = "Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy: Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas",
abstract = "Social democratic unionism has arguably been one of the most successful worker organisations in modern history. Through collective bargaining and political influence, this type of unionism has been effective in redistributing the gains from capitalist markets. This paper reviews the challenges, pathways and dilemmas social democratic unions face in the knowledge economy. Similar to industrialisation, the knowledge economy has the potential to fundamentally change the social fabric that trade unions derive their power resources from. There are three major and interrelated challenges: (1) technological change and the knowledge economy, (2) new socio-political coalitions and (3) keeping employers in. Focussing on Denmark and Sweden, it is argued that these three challenges strike the core of social democratic unionism, as they can undermine the ability to encompass the whole labour market because of polarisation or upgrading of jobs. The paper goes on to outline three possible pathways: {\textquoteleft}going radical{\textquoteright}, {\textquoteleft}going academic{\textquoteright} and {\textquoteleft}going old-school{\textquoteright}. {\textquoteleft}Going radical{\textquoteright} entails a sharper focus on fighting precarious work with other regulatory means other than collective bargaining. {\textquoteleft}Going academic{\textquoteright} entails a focus on education and lifting all occupational groups. {\textquoteleft}Going old-school{\textquoteright} entails adapting the principle of collective bargaining to new types of companies and occupations while sticking to the regulatory means as before. It is argued that none of the strategies is a silver bullet to the challenges, but that a key to the success of any of the strategies is that minimum wage levels are defended, as this will fuel investment in education for lower-paid work.",
keywords = "Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Democracy, Trade unions, Social partnerhip, Collective bargaining, Neoliberalism, Knowledge economy",
author = "Ibsen, {Christian Lyhne}",
year = "2021",
language = "English",
volume = "35",
pages = "69--90",
journal = "Comparative Social Research",
issn = "0195-6310",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Social Democratic Trade Unions in the Knowledge Economy

T2 - Challenges, Pathways and Dilemmas

AU - Ibsen, Christian Lyhne

PY - 2021

Y1 - 2021

N2 - Social democratic unionism has arguably been one of the most successful worker organisations in modern history. Through collective bargaining and political influence, this type of unionism has been effective in redistributing the gains from capitalist markets. This paper reviews the challenges, pathways and dilemmas social democratic unions face in the knowledge economy. Similar to industrialisation, the knowledge economy has the potential to fundamentally change the social fabric that trade unions derive their power resources from. There are three major and interrelated challenges: (1) technological change and the knowledge economy, (2) new socio-political coalitions and (3) keeping employers in. Focussing on Denmark and Sweden, it is argued that these three challenges strike the core of social democratic unionism, as they can undermine the ability to encompass the whole labour market because of polarisation or upgrading of jobs. The paper goes on to outline three possible pathways: ‘going radical’, ‘going academic’ and ‘going old-school’. ‘Going radical’ entails a sharper focus on fighting precarious work with other regulatory means other than collective bargaining. ‘Going academic’ entails a focus on education and lifting all occupational groups. ‘Going old-school’ entails adapting the principle of collective bargaining to new types of companies and occupations while sticking to the regulatory means as before. It is argued that none of the strategies is a silver bullet to the challenges, but that a key to the success of any of the strategies is that minimum wage levels are defended, as this will fuel investment in education for lower-paid work.

AB - Social democratic unionism has arguably been one of the most successful worker organisations in modern history. Through collective bargaining and political influence, this type of unionism has been effective in redistributing the gains from capitalist markets. This paper reviews the challenges, pathways and dilemmas social democratic unions face in the knowledge economy. Similar to industrialisation, the knowledge economy has the potential to fundamentally change the social fabric that trade unions derive their power resources from. There are three major and interrelated challenges: (1) technological change and the knowledge economy, (2) new socio-political coalitions and (3) keeping employers in. Focussing on Denmark and Sweden, it is argued that these three challenges strike the core of social democratic unionism, as they can undermine the ability to encompass the whole labour market because of polarisation or upgrading of jobs. The paper goes on to outline three possible pathways: ‘going radical’, ‘going academic’ and ‘going old-school’. ‘Going radical’ entails a sharper focus on fighting precarious work with other regulatory means other than collective bargaining. ‘Going academic’ entails a focus on education and lifting all occupational groups. ‘Going old-school’ entails adapting the principle of collective bargaining to new types of companies and occupations while sticking to the regulatory means as before. It is argued that none of the strategies is a silver bullet to the challenges, but that a key to the success of any of the strategies is that minimum wage levels are defended, as this will fuel investment in education for lower-paid work.

KW - Faculty of Social Sciences

KW - Social Democracy

KW - Trade unions

KW - Social partnerhip

KW - Collective bargaining

KW - Neoliberalism

KW - Knowledge economy

M3 - Journal article

VL - 35

SP - 69

EP - 90

JO - Comparative Social Research

JF - Comparative Social Research

SN - 0195-6310

ER -

ID: 255747625