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The representation gap and the future of worker representation


  • Edmund Heery is Professor of Employment Relations at Cardiff Business School.

Edmund Heery, Cardiff Business School, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK; e-mail:


The Representation Gap was one of the finest achievements of Brian Towers's academic life. In this important book he described the extent of the representation gap in Britain and the United States and examined attempts to close the gap through public policy, the revitalisation of trade unions and the development of new institutions of worker representation. On the sad occasion of Brian's death, this article returns to the main themes of the book and examines how academic analysis and developments in the real world of industrial relations have progressed since its publication.