Managing Modern Capitalism: Industrial Renewal and Workplace Democracy in the United States and Western Europe

By M. Donald Hancock; John Logue et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

This project began as a discussion among the coeditors in response to the intellectual challenge of the Council for European Studies to reflect creatively, comparatively, and across disciplines on contemporary political and economic issues. Over a three-year period we met in various transatlantic locations to address the relationship between workplace reform and economic policies pursued by West European democracies and the United States. The result is this volume of single- country and comparative essays.

The introduction, individual chapters, and conclusion speak to the twin themes of our concern: namely, how governments, employers, trade unions, and workers have acted to promote economic growth (via active industrial policies) and economic accountability (via various forms of codetermination, worker self- management, and employee ownership). Our contributors include political scientists, economists, a historian, a sociologist, and several political activists (including the author of the original version of Sweden's innovative if controversial wage-earner fund system, a former secretary of labor in the United States, and the chairman of Germany's largest trade union). They represent each of the five countries that serve as the empirical focus of our assessment of system performance and change: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Sweden.

The editors and individual authors would like to acknowledge the financial and institutional support of the following sources: the Council for European Studies; the Swedish Work Environment Fund; the Center for European Studies, the College of Arts and Science, and the Graduate Research Council at Vanderbilt University; the Office of Labor-Management Cooperation at the Ohio Department of Development; the Scandinavian Seminar College; the Cleveland Foundation; the German Marshall Fund of the United States; the Swedish Information Service; the Goethe Institute; the George Gund Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Humanities and the PSC/CUNY Research Foundation. The support of these organizations facilitated field research for individual scholars and enabled the various participants to convene on three stimulating occasions to present draft versions of their papers and debate the present and future of modern capitalism. The conferences were held at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, the ISS Center in Holte, Denmark, and Kent State University in Ohio.

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