European Industrial Relations

Objectives and competences :
The aim of the course is to examine the Europeanization processes taking place within industrial relations systems in the selected South Eastern European countries. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the emerging varieties of industrial relations systems in the region. The key competence is the ability to use a comparative approach in the analysis of the employment relations systems and in the corresponding policy formation. Students will understand peculiarities of the systems in the region. The acquired knowledge will facilitate their work and orientation in this specific environment (especially the HRM experts are referred to in this context).

Contents of the course :
In the introduction, we present the key features of the industrial relations as a scientific discipline, and some basic features of different types of employment relations in Europe (including description of institutional regulations at the EU level). The course is focused on the main features and the recent developments of the selected representatives of the Mediterranean pattern (Italy), the Rhine model (Germany and Sweden) and the neo-liberal pattern (Great Britain). Special focus is put on the changes within the German and Italian system. Due to geographical closeness and connections these systems are important and influential for Slovenia and some other selected South Eastern European countries. W. Streeck’s book Re-Forming Capitalism will be the key reading. The author of this book systematically analyses incremental institutional changes within five ’sectors’ : collective bargaining, intermediary organisations, social policy, public finance and corporative governance. The aim is to use a comparative approach in order to identify the general trends of liberalisation of the post-war regulative mechanisms and to try to grasp common features of the changes within the contemporary capitalism. Using this perspective, development of the industrial relations systems in selected South Eastern European countries will be presented in the second part of the course. Special attention will be given to the developments in Slovenia, Hungary and Serbia, to their historical legacies and to the later formation of the different transitional trajectories within the context of the regional as well as the wider integration processes.

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