Ausschnitte aus Rezensionen

Wir dokumentieren in ausgewählter Form Rezensionen von Veröffentlichungen der Forschungsgruppe bzw. einzelner Team-Mitglieder, die in jüngerer Zeit erschienen sind.

Rüb, Stefan; Platzer Hans-Wolfgang; Müller, Torsten (2011), Transnationale Unternehmensvereinbarungen. Zur Neuordnung der Arbeitsbeziehungen in Europa. Berlin: edition sigma

„Die renommierte Forschergruppe der Fachhochschule Fulda befasst sich in ihrer Studie erneut mit einem aktuellen Thema aus dem Komplex Europäisierung der Arbeitsbeziehungen. Mit transnationalen Unternehmensvereinbarungen untersuchen Stefan Rüb, Hans-Wolfgang Platzer und Torsten Müller ein Instrument, das zunehmend regulierend in grenzüberschreitende Unternehmenspolitiken eingreift, etwa durch die Steuerung von Restrukturierungsprozessen oder die Verankerung grundlegender Arbeitnehmerrechte. Die Autoren gehen den Fragen nach, welche strukturellen Bedingungen und Motive dem Aushandlungsprozess zugrunde liegen, und – auf den größeren Forschungszusammenhang hinweisend – in welchem Maße transnationale Unternehmensvereinbarungen auf die Europäisierung der Arbeitsbeziehungen einwirken. 

In zehn sorgfältig recherchierten Fallstudien, die überwiegend in Unternehmen aus dem Metallsektor in Deutschland, Frankreich, Italien und Großbritannien durchgeführt wurden, zeigen die Autoren auf, dass vor allem Stammlandeffekte für die Aushandlung von Unternehmensvereinbarungen von Bedeutung sind. Während insbesondere in den untersuchten Fällen in Deutschland dem EBR die tragende Rolle zukommt, stellen in Frankreich die Gewerkschaften den wichtigsten Verhandlungspartner dar. Die Autoren sehen in diesem Ergebnis eine Bestätigung ihrer These der Herausbildung eines „europäischen Mehrebenensystems industrieller Beziehungen“, das sich durch die parallele Existenz nationaler Systeme der Arbeitsbeziehungen und gleichzeitig eine wachsende grenzüberschreitende Verschränkung auf Akteurs- und Regulierungsebene auszeichnet. In diesem unumkehrbaren Prozess einer Europäisierung der Arbeitsbeziehungen spielen transnationale Vereinbarungen nach Meinung der Autoren eine zunehmend wichtige Rolle. Vor allem die fehlende Regulierung auf zwischenstaatlicher Ebene fördere den Bedarf konzernbezogener transnationaler Vereinbarungen. Die umfassende Analyse dieses an Bedeutung gewinnenden Instruments macht das Buch zu einem wichtigen Beitrag in der Diskussion um die Entwicklung europäischer Arbeitsbeziehungen.“ 

Siglinde Hessler, Doktorandin an der Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaft der Ruhr-Universität Bochum,
Rezension in: Magazin Mitbestimmung 12/2011

 

„ ... Insgesamt eröffnet die Studie interessante Einblicke nicht nur in die jeweiligen Verhandlungsmuster, sondern auch in die dahinterstehenden Macht- und Interessenkonstellationen sowie potenzielle Fragen, Probleme und Zukunftsoptionen.“

Björn Wagner, Dipl. Politologe, Doktorand und Lehrbeauftragter an der Universität Jena,
 Rezension in: Portal für Politikwissenschaft 02/2012 

 

Platzer, Hans-Wolfgang; Müller, Torsten (2009), Die globalen und europäischen Gewerkschaftsverbände. Handbuch und Analysen zur transnationalen Gewerkschaftspolitik (unter Mitarbeit von Stefan Rüb, Matthias Helmer und Thomas R. Oettgen), Berlin: Edition Sigma. 

Klaus Henning: Auf dem Weg zu transnationalen Branchengewerkschaften?, in: Gegenblende, Ausgabe 05, September/Oktober 2010

Otto Jacobi: Die Mühen der Ebenen – Das „wasteland“ wird kleiner (Sammelbesprechung), in: Industrielle Beziehungen, Jahrgang 17, Heft 3, 2010

Rainer Gries, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bonn, in: IPG 2-2010

Buchtipp: Globale und europäische Gewerkschaften, in: Ver.di News 06_2010-09-14

 

Rüb, Stefan (2009), Die Transnationalisierung der Gewerkschaften. Eine empirische Untersuchung am Beispiel der IG Metall, Berlin: Edition Sigma.

Otto Jacobi: Die Mühen der Ebenen – Das „wasteland“ wird kleiner (Sammelbesprechung), in: Industrielle Beziehungen, Jahrgang 17, Heft 3, 2010

Björn Hacker, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Berlin, in: IPG 1-2010

Otto Jacobi, in: transfer, vol. 16(2), 2010

 

Torsten Müller/Hans-Wolfgang Platzer/Stefan Rüb: Globale Arbeitsbeziehungen in globalen Konzernen? Wiesbaden, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2004

„Die Globalisierung hat spätestens seit den 90er Jahren in ihrer Breite und Intensität eine neue Qualität angenommen, das belegen wissenschaftliche Studien. Wenig erforscht ist dagegen bislang, wie sich diese Tendenz auf die transnationalen Arbeitsbeziehungen auswirkt. Diese Forschungslücke zu schließen ist das Anliegen von Torsten Müller, Hans-Wolfgang Platzer und Stefan Rüb, die sich an der FH Fulda bereits seit einigen Jahren mit europäischen und internationalen Arbeitsbeziehungen beschäftigen. Anhand von acht Fallstudien (Deutsche Bank, Allianz, Bayer, BASF, Kraft Foods, Nestle, Volkswagen, DaimlerCrysler) analysieren sie, wie Arbeitnehmervertreter und Gewerkschaften versuchen, den grenzüberschreitenden Strategien globaler Konzerne zu begegnen. (…)  Die Studie schildert anhand vieler konkreter Beispiele, wie weit der Weg zu funktionsfähigen und durchsetzungsstarken globalen Arbeitsbeziehungen noch ist. (…) 

Das Buch beschreibt die Realität transnationaler Arbeitsbeziehungen jenseits globalisierungskritischer Mythen und wirtschaftspolitischer Sachzwänge. Es liefert zugleich Beispiele innovativer Praxis, die den Akteuren als Wegmarkierungen dienen können.“

Matthias Helmer, Sozialwissenschaftler, Göttingen. In: Mitbestimmung, 6 / 2005

 

„There are many general claims and little empirical research on what increasing globalization of the world economy means for industrial relations. (…) Moving beyond general claims, the authors of the book under review examine the empirical question: does the globalization of MNCs lead to transnational industrial relations? Drawing on case study research, the authors reveal a wide variety of instruments of the emerging transnational industrial relations within multinational companies, such as world works councils, company-based union networks (facilitated through global union federations), social codes of conduct (or international framework agreements), transnationally extended co-determination and transnational grass-roots networks. The greatest merit of this book is that it pulls together these themes, often treated separately, into one encompassing account of transnational industrial relations. (…) This book is a very valuable empirical contribution to the body of literature on transnational industrial relations. Whereas research over the last decade has focused on European works councils, this study moves beyond Europe and explores industrial relations practices on a global level. In addition, this book can be highly recommended to labour practitioners. The accessible presentation of best practices, as well as failures, in well-documented and context-sensitive case studies gives practitioners a good sense of the opportunities and limitations of transnational strategies. Since its implications go far beyond German industrial relations, it would be desirable to translate this excellent book and thereby make it available to a broader audience. 

Marco Hauptmeier, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. In: Transfer, 3 / 2005

  

Berndt Keller/Hans-Wolfgang Platzer (Hrsg.): Industrial Relations and European Integration. Trans- and supranational Developments and Prospects, Aldershot, Ashgate 2003

“The Keller/Platzer volume uses “state of the art” presentations by seven experts (including the editors) to examine the key arenas of emerging institutions and actors on the European level. Within this empirical framework, its stated goals are to bring the areas of topical specialization together and to reflect on interdependencies and interactions (p. 4). The arenas which they address as the focal point of Europeanization are the European social dialogue, European works councils, collective bargaining and the European employment policy. (…) The particular strength of this volume is to be found in the individual expert chapters, each of which combines an up-to-date report on developments with succinct analysis and evaluation. (…) In the chapter on European Works Councils (EWC) by Thorsten Müller and Hans-Wolfgang Platzer the authors provide a concise historical overview of the development of the “political breakthrough” of this “new mode of regulation” (79). Based on their extensive research in this field, they argue that the designation of the EWC as a “neo-voluntaristic” policy instrument is misleading. Instead, they prefer to use the concept of “regulated self-regulation” in regard to “an emerging multi-level system of European (company) industrial relations” (80) as their analytical tool. (…) 

In their concluding chapter, the editors review the individual contributions, bringing their topical foci together in regard to long-term trends and perspectives. They point to the changing modes of social regulation as a key issue addressed by all contributors: From harmonization to a more flexible approach, from substantive to procedural regulation, from unanimity to qualified majority, and from vertical integration to horizontal co-ordination. Their assessment of the future course of labor relations and the European Social Model recognizes the spreading of fragmentation and particularization and the staying power of “fundamental political disagreement” (177), especially in light of the recent enlargement process. Nevertheless, Keller and Platzer conclude with a cautious “Wait-and-See” verdict.  Although the book was published in 2003, its individual chapters still offer relevant and insightful analyses of the decisive issues. I have found the book especially useful in teaching European labor relations because of the topical focus and clarity of presentation. (…) This book should be regarded as an important and fundamental contribution to the study of labor relations in Europe.”

Michael Fichter, Freie Universität Berlin. In: Industrielle Beziehungen, 2 / 2006

 

„The completion of the single market and the establishment of the monetary union is accompanied by the construction of the European Social Model… The different aspects and the dynamics of this process are brilliantly described and discussed in this volume. It will be of great value not only for readers in Europe but all over the world.”

Prof. Dr. Manfred Weiss, J.W.Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main / Germany, President of the International Industrial Relations Associations (IIRA)

 

„New dynamics are interrelating and constantly changing EU-level, cross-border and national industrial relations. There is lot of research on the different fragments of this overall structure. (…) However so far there has been no attempt to analyse the dynamics of this new approach as a whole and to reflect on the interdependencies and possible interactions as well as on the consistencies and inconsistencies of the different elements of this newly emerging scenario of industrial relations. Filling this gap is the main purpose of Keller and Platzer’s book. Six highly informative chapters are devoted to the main pillars of this new structure of industrial relations in the European Union: inter-professional social dialogue at European level (Falkner), social dialogue at sectoral level (Keller), EWCs (Müller/Platzer), the interface between monetary policy and collective bargaining (Schulten) and European employment policy (Goetschy). 

In their introduction Keller and Platzer provide an outline of the overall structure in which these individual chapters are to be placed, thereby preventing an isolated perspective on the respective issues dealt with. In the final analysis of the book the same two authors offer a comprehensive evaluation of the results of the preceding chapters as a basis for speculating on future trends. (…) 

The book is an indispensable tool for all those, academics or practitioners, interested and/or involved in the process of the Europeanisation of industrial relations. The different lines of this complex process are brought together in a complete picture that makes the new approach visible as a whole, and provides the means for a realistic assessment of the potential for integration.”

Manfred Weiss, Professor of Labor Law, J.W.Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. In: The International Journal of Comparative Labor Law and Industrial Relations, 19/4, 2003

 

“This book brings together leading authorities on cross-border and European-level industrial relations to review and assess the major developments. Each chapter of the book stands alone, but it is perhaps best read as a whole to understand the unfolding and sometimes contradictory nature of the Europeanisation phenomenon. Following a brief introduction, three chapters follow on institutional developments. Chapters two and three examine the international “social dialogue”; first at multisector level then at each sector level. Chapter four focuses on developments at (multinational) company level in the form of EWCs. The next three chapters look at major policy initiatives – implications of the Euro, trade union co-ordination efforts and the arrival of the EES – followed by a summary and conclusion by the editors. (…) Torsten Müller and Hans-Wolfgang Platzer guide us through the most relevant contributions of the burgeoning literature on the subject. As well as setting out the historical development of the directive, they develop a typology of EWCs based on their “capacity to act”. They argue that the way the legislation was framed allowed it to successfully account for diversity and thereby to promote a form of Europeanisation “from below”, an iterative process with “horizontal” (procedural) and “vertical” (substantive) dynamics. The EWC story is, therefore, not one of “neo-voluntarism”, as some commentators have maintained, but should be regarded more accurately as “regulated self-regulation”. (…) 

In their concluding chapter the editors discuss the main dimensions and trends in the Europeanisation of industrial relations, summarising the key contributions of the preceding chapters. Europeanisation is defined as “the development of a coherent, horizontally and vertically connected – and to certain degrees integrated – “European” system of industrial relations” (page 172). Some may take issue with this, seeing the process of Europeanisation more in terms of the impact of European integration on industrial relations within particular countries. However, in this case, the subtitle of the book is an essential guide to its content, and the editors acknowledge that it should be read alongside other texts. With that in mind, this book consistently provides valuable empirical and analytical insights into the debate, as each chapter summarises the key developments, engages the literature and draws out the theoretical implications.”

Jim Arrowsmith, University of Warwick. In: Journal of Industrial Relations, March 2004

 

“This edited volume discusses current issues and developments affecting industrial relations in the European Union. The contributors examine how and at what stage trans- and supranational needs for regulation have arisen in order to complement national industrial relations regulatory mechanisms. They analyse the interests of the various actors in establishing regulations and look at the degree of political integration needed to structure and foster development of trans- and supranational industrial relations. (…) The basic link of theoretical interest between all the contributors is the changing modes of social regulation at European level. (…)

This collection critically examines the prospects for European integration and informs the reader of recent developments, presenting the current challenges for social integration and the Europeanisation of industrial relations in an accessible form.”

Heather Connolly, University of Warwick. In: CLR News, 3 / 2003

 

“This book contributes to the literature on European industrial relations that focuses on transnational and supranational developments in the European Union (EU) – in particular, EU institutions, laws, and political processes. (…) The greatest merits of the book are the breadth of its survey and the clarity and concision of its presentation. Bringing together some of the foremost European experts, the volume presents state-of-the-art research on European industrial relations. (…) Industrial Relations and European Integration is a lean and precise introduction to a complex subject. It has relatively short chapters, avoids lengthy introductions, and focuses on key issues and developments. The chapters’ accessible writing helps make the book appropriate for graduate-level classes or course sections on European industrial relations. The book is well suited for teachers at American universities who seek to highlight crucial differences between European and American industrial relations. For researchers of industrial relations who are not concentrating on Europe, this book can be highly recommended as a concise introduction to the field of European industrial relations.”

Marco Hauptmeier, School of Industrial and Labor Relations Cornell University. In: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 59, issue 1, 2005

  

 

Heribert Kohl/Hans-Wolfgang Platzer: Arbeitsbeziehungen in Mittelosteuropa. Transformation und Integration – Die acht EU-Beitrittsländer im Vergleich, 2. neu bearbeitete und aktualisierte Auflage, Baden-Baden, Nomos 2004

Heribert Kohl/Hans-Wolfgang Platzer: Industrial relations in Central and Eastern Europe. Transformation and integration. A comparasion of the eight new EU member states. Brussels,  ETUI 2004

 “(…) Heribert Kohl and Hans-Wolfgang Platzer have weighed in with a publication which widens the geographical spectrum of European labor relations to the East. In this excellent English translation of the original German text, the authors offer an in-depth look at the problems of transformation and integration in the new member states, positioning them by means of a model comparison in relation to the European Social Model. (…) 

This volume by Heribert Kohl and Hans-Wolfgang Platzer, reviewed in English version, is an excellent compendium. 

Kohl and Platzer have taken an issue-oriented approach to present the material and their arguments. The first section is a comparative analysis of industrial relations in the transition economies. Following an introductory review of the political and economic framework, the authors present a country-by-country analysis of collective labor law and labor relations in the workplace, at the sectoral level and as an exercise in national and regional level tripartism. At the end of this section there is a comparative summary of these issues which emphasizes similarities and differences in the countries under review. The second section is devoted to understanding how CEE labor relations might “fit” within the framework of labor relations in Western Europe. To this end, the authors discuss the various models of national labor relations systems in the pre-accession EU, the problems which those models have been facing during the past decades, and the question of the Euorpeanization of labor relations in the EU. On this basis, they turn back to the CEE countries and present their argument to the existence of a particular “transition model” of labor relations in the region. The third and final section of the book is devoted to the overarching issue of labor relations in an enlarged EU and the project of a European Social Model.(…) 

The ongoing changes and contingency of the post-socialist period is implicit to the transition model of labor relations developed by the authors. While recognizing the considerable influences on the transition process emanating especially from the EU countries, the authors reject the notion of a model import. And yet, despite clear path dependent differences among the individual national systems, the CEE countries all share common features which set their systems of labor relations apart from the several Western European models: The “influence of the state on labor regulation and collective bargaining, with a corresponding weakness at the intermediate level of autonomous social partners with a capacity to negotiate sectoral provisions” (358) is one of these features, “the unstable and fragmented structure of employee representation at the workplace” (359) is another. Moreover, the considerable national variations and the ongoing transitional processes of structural change reveal the existence of a “two-speed CEE” model on a north-south axis characterized by a more structurally conservative (in the north) or an innovative approach (in the south) to transformation and to an adaptation to the European Social Model. The overall conclusion drawn by the authors is that the CEE countries are processing at varying and different speeds the “incorporation of individual “Western European building blocks” and creating functional equivalents on the road to Europeanization. Nevertheless, in Europe as a whole, the CEE countries are contributing more to the diversification of labor relations systems than to harmonization. In this regard, the European Social Model as a “soft law” concept is dependent on the strengthening of non-state actors for its anchoring in the new member states. 

This is an excellent introduction and overview of an extremely complex topic, a veritable moving target marked by both stagnation and ongoing dynamic changes. The authors have integrated a wealth of information highly pertinent to developing a comprehensive, comparative and differentiated understanding of transformation and consolidation in a region which for many observers in Western Europe is still virtually incomprehensible and has the appearance of a monolithic bloc. As the authors note, the post-1989 transformation and the accession of the CEE countries to the EU is having a tremendous impact on the future of social policy in Europe. Labor relations, both as national systems in Western Europe and as a European project, are being profoundly affected by the trajectory of developments in the new member state. In its comprehensiveness and differentiation, this book will help foster a deeper recognition of the strengths and weaknesses as well as of the varieties in labor relations systems across Europe and stimulate the discussion of both national model typologies and of the European Social Model.”

Michael Fichter, Freie Universität Berlin. In: Industrielle Beziehungen, 2 / 2006

„Zum richtigen Zeitpunkt ist das Buch von Kohl/Platzer über 'Arbeitsbeziehungen in Mittelosteuropa' erschienen. Allen, die sich zu diesem Thema zukünftig äußern wollen, sei angeraten, erst dieses Buch zu lesen. Man muss es kennen, wenn man sich sachverständig an der sozialpolitischen Diskussion beteiligen und ernst genommen werden will. (…).

Es zeichnet sich durch eine geglückte Verbindung von sachlich strukturierter Informationsvermittlung mit theoretisch und historisch unterfütterter Einordnung in den paneuropäischen Integrationsprozessen aus.“

Dr. Otto Jacobi, in: WSI-Mitteilungen, 1 / 2004

 

„Das von Kohl/Platzer vorgelegte Buch bietet eine solide Materialbasis, um die Arbeitsbeziehungen in Ost- und Mitteleuropa nach Ländern geordnet zu studieren. In diesem Kompendium werden die kollektiv-rechtlichen Bedingungen beschrieben sowie der Zustand der betrieblichen und überbetrieblichen Akteursbeziehungen inklusive tarifpolitischer Bilanzen und tripartistischer Arrangements zwischen Staat, Kapital und Arbeit.“

 PD Dr. Wolfgang Schröder, in: Neue Politische Literatur 2004

  

„Das vorliegende Werk untersucht die Arbeitsbeziehungen der acht EU-Beitrittskandidaten der ersten Runde auf ihre Fortschritte beim Umbau. Hierbei kommen rechtliche ebenso wie soziologische und wirtschaftliche Aspekte zum Tragen. (…) Der dritte und letzte Teil enthält Überlegungen, wie die osteuropäischen Spezifika in das bislang rein an westlichen Verhältnissen orientierte „Europäische Sozialmodell“ einfließen können. (…) Hierzu liefert das Buch Denkanregungen, die nicht zuletzt auch für den Juristen von Interesse sein können. Das lässt darüber hinwegsehen, dass die Darstellungen zur geltenden Rechtslage bisweilen etwas unscharf und punktuell geraten sind; da der Schwerpunkt dieses Werkes nicht rechtswissenschaftlicher, sondern gesellschaftswissenschaftlicher Natur ist, ist dies auch verständlich. Lesenswert bleibt es, wie gesagt, trotzdem auch für den Juristen.“

Herbert Küpper, in: Osteuropa Recht, 5 / 2003

 

„Heribert Kohl und Hans-Wolfgang Platzer untersuchen in ihrer höchst aktuellen Studie den schwierigen Transformationsprozess dieser Staaten für das Feld der Arbeitsbeziehungen. Sie zeigen zunächst für jedes Beitrittsland die entscheidenden Entwicklungen auf und vergleichen – für die einzelnen Teilbereiche der Arbeitsbeziehungen – die jeweiligen „nationalen Transformationspfade“ miteinander. Als Informationsgrundlage dienen ihnen dabei vor allem Länderexpertisen von Wissenschaftlern aus den untersuchten Staaten, ergänzt durch „Anhörungskonferenzen“ mit Politikern und Vertretern der Sozialpartner. (…) Ihnen gelingt es mit ihrer umfassenden Analyse nicht nur, Licht in die Entwicklung der Arbeitsbeziehungen in den künftigen Mitgliedstaaten und die damit verbundenen Folgen zu bringen – sie liefern ihrem eigenen Anspruch folgend auch eine Grundlage für weitergehende Diskussionen und zeigen Ansätze für politische Handlungsoptionen auf.“

Michael Stollt, Politikwissenschaftler, Europäisches Gewerkschaftsinstitut in Brüssel.
In: Mitbestimmung, 11 / 2003

 

„Heribert Kohl und Hans-Wolfgang Platzer zeigen in ihrem Buch „Arbeitsbeziehungen in Mittelosteuropa“ die Sozialkulturen in den EU-Beitrittsstaaten Polen, Litauen, Lettland, Estland, Tschechien, Slowakei, Ungarn und Slowenien auf. In einem über mehrere Jahre währenden Forschungsprozess haben sie sich dem Wandel und den Entwicklungen der Arbeitsbeziehungen in den genannten Ländern unter dem Blickwinkel des EU-Beitritts gewidmet. Sie vergleichen das kollektive Arbeitsrecht, betriebliche und sektorale Arbeitsbeziehungen und Tarifverträge, ziehen einen Ost-West-Vergleich und entwerfen ein „Europäisches Sozialmodell“. Externe Unterstützung – so das Fazit – ist unverzichtbar, um den Modernisierungsprozess in Gang zu bringen. Starke Partner aus der EU werden dringend gebraucht.“

Deutsches Handwerksblatt, 11 / 2003

 

„Der Umgestaltung der Arbeitsbeziehungen sowie dem aktuellen Entwicklungsstand auf diesem Gebiet widmet sich die von Heribert Kohl gemeinsam mit Dr. Hans-Wolfgang Platzer, Professor im Fachbereich Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften an der Fachhochschule Fulda, erstellte Studie „Arbeitsbeziehungen in Mittelosteuropa“. Die zugrunde liegenden angaben wurden von den Autoren in analogen Ländererhebungen und Expertenanhörungen gewonnen und auf 326 Seiten zusammengefasst. Im ersten Teil erfolgt die Darstellung und Analyse der Entwicklungen in den drei baltischen Staaten sowie in Polen, Tschechien, der Slowakei, Ungarn und Slowenien, wobei die Einteilung der Kapitel in große Themengebiete wie kollektives Arbeitsrechts, betriebliche bzw. sektorale Arbeitsbeziehungen und Tripartismus die erste Orientierung erleichtert. Bei dem folgenden Ost-West-Vergleich wird deutlich, dass trotz der Orientierung der Transformation an Westeuropa die Entwicklung auf unterschiedlichen, national geprägten Pfaden verläuft. Zugleich werden Strukturmerkmale sichtbar, die einen sog. Transformationsgesellschaftlichen Typus der Arbeitsbeziehungen begründen. (…) Im abschließenden Ausblick werden anhand der gewonnenen Erkenntnisse die Herausforderungen an das Europäische Sozialmodell dargestellt und Voraussetzungen und Perspektiven einer erfolgreichen Integration genannt. Angereichert wird das Werk durch zahlreiche Übersichtstafeln, im Anhang finden sich zudem wichtige Dokumente sowie Anregungen für ein Planspiel zum Verhandlungstraining für Sozialpartner.“

Europa-Blätter, 4 / 2003

 

 

Wolfgang Lecher/Hans-Wolfgang Platzer/Stefan Rüb/Klaus-Peter Weiner: European Works Councils: Negotiated Europeanism: Between statutory framework and social dynamics, Ashgate 2002

 “Last year saw the publication in English of the third and final book in an “EWC trilogy” which began with The Establishment of European Works Councils: From Information Committee to Social Actor (1999). That first book looked at the establishment of EWCs in eight multinationals in the chemical and metalworking sectors, in the UK, Italy, France and Germany, both before the Directive was adopted and n the subsequent period prior to it being transposed into national laws. The second book European Works Councils: Development, Types and Networking (2001) provided further case studies with the sectoral scope broadened to include the food, banking and insurance sectors. It explored the prospects for EWC networking and drew lessons about the process of “Europeanisation” by introducing (among other things) a typology of EWCs.

Negotiated Europeanism presents yet more research, this time focusing on the establishment of EWCs under the “standard procedure” in force since September 1996 (specifically for Article 6 agreements). As the final book of the trilogy it also attempts an overall assessment of the whole EWC process to date, drawing on the research documented in all three books, and looks at the implications of that process for broader issues in European industrial relations policy and regulation.

The book, like the series, is divided into three parts. The first of these offers the reader a two-chapter crash course in the intellectual and political history of the Directive and the key theoretical positions behind the research. The most important part here is their theory of “Negotiated Europeanisation”. This notion is founded in the novelty of EWC legislation being based neither on purely voluntary agreements, nor on legally enforced universal minimum standards but on negotiated solutions that rest between the two. The researchers suggest that the incorporation of this regulatory principal into the Directive may have created a new dynamic towards Europeanisation in the broader sense. 

The second part of the book will be of more interest to practitioners. It sets out their research on the establishment of EWCs in the “Article 6 phase”. The gathering of data was done in four stages: interviews with experts, consultative conferences, case studies and a postal survey. Of these the most substantial is that of the case studies detailing EWC negotiations in five different multinational companies (MNCs). (…) 

As with the first two books, the case studies make fascinating reading, providing a rare documentation of what has actually been going on inside EWCs and their negotiating bodies. (…)

The third part of the book goes back to the broader theoretical and regulatory assessments of the Directive. The researchers judge here that EWCs are a success story for negotiated Europeanisation with which the European Commission and the European Parliament have created a movement towards highly innovative social policy regulation, which can parallel the free market and work against overly static and reductionist conceptions of the EU. They take the opportunity to contradict academic critics of the Directive who have argued that the EU is not able to adopt regulations that actually go beyond what MNCs would be prepared to negotiate voluntarily anyway. If that were true, they argue, there would only be about 40 EWCc in existence. For them this social dimension has been, and could only be built on existing legal foundations and not pure voluntarism.

That having been said, they also note that quantitative shortcomings and qualitative barriers the EWC Directive remain. (…)

In summa, this book is packed with interesting and insightful information. The research undertaken has been both ambitious and, despite minor imperfections, high quality. Though the book is clearly aimed at an academic audience and is not always an easy read, there is much here to interest trade unionists involved with EWCs. (…) Elsewhere the book tackles questions on the nature of European industrial relations, its future and regulation with real insight. Indeed, all three of the books can be happily recommended to anyone with an interest in the subject.”

Simon Cox, in: Transfer, 2 / 2003

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