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Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions in the Twenty-First Century$
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Elin Haugsgjerd Allern and Tim Bale

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790471.001.0001

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The Relationship between Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions

The Relationship between Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions

(p.1) 1 The Relationship between Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions
Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions in the Twenty-First Century

Elin Haugsgjerd Allern

Tim Bale

Oxford University Press

Both parties and interest groups are vital to representative democracy, and the relationship between left-of-centre parties and trade unions was once one of the closest. Conventional wisdom suggests that this is no longer the case, as both have struggled to cope with changes that have led them to reassess their links with each other. We aim to interrogate that conventional wisdom by finding out what is really going on in a carefully selected range of twelve countries. We begin by reviewing the literature. We then outline the conceptual and theoretical background of our essentially organizational approach, and set out a framework inspired by a cost–benefit model of resource exchange. We finish by laying out hypotheses which are rooted in exchanges and transactions but which also take account of structural and institutional differences at the country level, all of which may help us to explain the variations our empirical research reveals.

Keywords:   parties, social democratic, labour, trade unions, interest groups, industrial relations, organization, links, resource exchange, cost–benefit analysis

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