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Transnational Industrial Relations as Multi-Level Governance: Interdependencies in European Social Dialogue

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Abstract

Processes of transnationalization of industrial relations have been redrawing and increasing the complexity of the industrial relations map, adding new levels, actors and institutions, and creating new horizontal and vertical relationships and interdependencies. To capture these changes, we propose a multi-governance perspective enriched by due attention to power relations. We then apply this perspective to analyse the evolution of European social dialogue (ESD), showing that the conventional reading of ESD moving from dependency to autonomy is a false one: negotiated regulation emanating from the ESD rests on two-directional relations, between the European and national levels involving autonomy and dependency at the same time. It also involves differing forms of horizontal interdependency between private actors and the public authorities. To show its wider applicability, we also briefly relate this approach to International Framework Agreements and European Works Council agreements.

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