It got a bit lost in the crowded Christmas field, but I’m delighted to say that my book has been published. The book is called European Labour Movements in Crisis: from Indecision to Indifference and is published by Manchester University Press; it examines the response of German, Spanish, French and Polish labour movements to European integration and argues that this reaction tends to take a competitive form. Below is an abstract,
European Labour Movements in Crisis: from Indecision to Indifference contends that labour movements respond to European integration in a manner which instigates competition between national labour markets. This argument is based on analysis of four countries (Germany, Spain, France and Poland) and two processes: the collective bargaining practices of trade unions in the first decade of the Eurozone and the response of trade unions and social-democratic parties to austerity in Southern Europe. In the first process, although unions did not intentionally compete, there was a drift towards zero-sum outcomes which benefited national workforces in stronger structural positions. In the second process, during which a crisis resulting from the earlier actions of labour occurred, lack of solidarity reinforced effects of competition.
Such processes are indicative of relations between national labour movements which are rooted in competition, even if causal mechanisms are somewhat indirect. The book moreover engages with debates concerning the dualization of labour markets, arguing that substantive outcomes demonstrate the existence of a European insider-outsider division. Findings also confirm the salience of intergovernmentalist analyses of integration and point to a relationship between labour sectionalism and European disintegration.
Some more information about the book is available here. At the moment, only hardback versions are available; these are aimed at libraries and so are pricey. There will be a much cheaper paperback version available later this year. A Kindle version of the book will also be released. At the moment however, a Kindle search for ‘Thomas Prosser’ merely yields one result for a book called ‘Hard men of Welsh rugby’! As much as I would love to be in that book, I can only conclude that my work has yet to achieve a Kindle release…