Turning to Europe
A New Swedish Industrial
Relations Regime in the 1990s

By Sofia Murhem
December 2003
Uppsala University Press
ISBN: 91-554-5726-6
195 pages, 6 " x 9 "
$59.50 Paper Original

This Ph.D. dissertation explores the transformation of the industrial relations regime in Sweden during the 1990s. Four areas are studied; industrial relations of the growing service sector, industrial relations of small enterprises, effects of re-regulation, and introduction of competition on industrial relations in telecommunications service and internationalization of industrial relations in the metal sector. The author shows that in the 1990s, the labor market regime of Sweden changed into a new regime, a result of altered conditions caused by the third industrial revolution.

The changes took place within a certain context and were governed by strong path dependence. The internationalization or Europeanization of the economy, foremost the upsurge in ingoing foreign direct investments, increased the Swedish industry's dependence on non-national actors and economy. The employers and the trade unions had strong incentives to come to an agreement (the industrial Agreement in 1997), to achieve international competitiveness. The increasing dependence on (Western/European) trade and investments caused additional adjustments of industrial relations. The Europeanization of the political decision making process (EU membership) had also an impact, in combination with other political measures, such as the introduction of liberalization, abandoning monopolies etc, however not as substantial as that of (economic) internationalization.

Economic History
Uppsala Studies in Economic History No. 68

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