State and Industrial Relations in Southern Europe
Sociology Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona Cerdanyola del Valles, Spain
Industrial relations systems of Southern European economies have been subject in the last three decades to significant challenges and transformations. This paper analyses changes in the role of the state as regulator and coordinator. The starting point is the acknowledgement of contradictory forces regarding the direction of this change. Whilst there are strong pressures towards less direct and indirect state regulation, the new macroeconomic framework of EMU imposes new coordination requirements, especially on industrial relations systems of Southern Europe. This paper analyses the causes, forms and consequences of changing state involvement in four Southern European countries. In spite of being clustered under the same typology, industrial relations in these countries exhibit different degrees of state intervention. The analysis of developments in four areas shows some convergence towards a model of state monitored autonomy. However, differences between countries and areas remain and perpetuate. In order to explain these differences, a model of state change in industrial relations is oulined that not only considers the source of change, but also the type and sequence of transformations.