Solidarity: The Great Workers Strike of 1980 (The Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series)

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Solidarity: The Great Workers Strike of tells the story of this pivotal period in Poland's history from the perspective of those who lived it. Through unique personal interviews with the individuals who helped breathe life into the Solidarity movement, Michael Szporer brings home the momentous impact these events had on the people involved and subsequent history that changed the face of Europe. This movement, which began as a strike, had major consequences that no one could have foreseen at the start. In this book, the individuals who shaped history speak with their own voices about the strike that changed the course of history.

Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Harvard Cold War Studies. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Solidarity , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. All Languages. More filters. The politics of coexistence. Soviet methods and motives. Bloomington : Indiana University Press.

Arguably, this quest for international approval of domestic policies was a characteristic feature of the cultural Cold War as a battle for hearts and minds cf.


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Nye, Nye, J. Public diplomacy and soft power. International Organization , 54 , 1 — One important audience and arena for this struggle were the many new members who joined the UN system during the s as a result of de-colonlisation Rubinstein, Rubinstein, A. The U. Russian Review , 14 , 11 — Soviets in international organizations: Changing policy toward developing countries.

Yugoslavia and the nonaligned world. But in this article, our focus lies on the intra-European process. The present study suggests that in Cold War Europe, East—West competition within intergovernmental organisations over political legitimacy may have helped create or strengthen processes of East—West policy isomorphism in Europe.

During the s, East European communist regimes adopted new legislation that, within the policy dialogue of the ILO, came to be regarded as comparable, belonging to the same category of policy or organisational field as the laws in West European liberal democratic countries cf.

The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organisational fields. American Sociological Review , 48 2 , — Of course, as we now know, actual worker participation was very different under liberal-democratic political systems compared to communist regimes cf. Zwischen Disziplinierung und Partizipation. Using the terminology of world-polity theory, we can speak of East—West policy isomorphism on worker participation as de-coupled , that is, similarities were superficial or occurred at the level of myth and ceremony surrounding formal legislation, and not in the form of actual policy transfers cf.

Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. The American Journal of Sociology , 83 , — Arguably, the non-democratic character of communist regimes allowed the myth and ceremony of legislation to remain de-coupled from actual policies to a degree not possible in countries with a democratic public sphere cf. Habermas, Habermas, J. Deliberative Politik — ein Verfahrensbegriff der Demokratie. Frankfurt a. Furthermore, in historical hindsight, the function of participatory policies under political systems lacking freedom of expression and freedom of association can of course be questioned.

In the conclusions, we return to the question of why the ILO bureaucracy agreed to treat communist workplace-participation as legitimate and relevant to the West European experience despite the dismal record of the communist regimes on these counts. Nevertheless, from the mids until the end of the Cold War, it became commonplace for labour studies to compare workplace participation policies in West and East Europe side by side, not as democratic versus authoritarian models, but as parallel progressive endeavours under market-based versus plan-based societies cf.

Comisso, Comisso, E. Workers councils: A study of workplace organization on both sides of the iron curtain. This discursive development is captured by the world-polity theory concept the construction of equivalence that is, how legislation on worker participation under communist regimes was constructed as comparable and relevant to the West European experience. The case study re-traces how such a construction of equivalence occurred within the policy dialogue of the ILO and how it was legitimised and authorised by ILO procedures and publications. How could such a discourse have mattered for the welfare states in Western Europe?

Unpacking the glocalization of organization: From term, to theory, to analysis.

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European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology , 1 1 , 85 — Rules for the world. International organizations in world politics. World society: The writings of John W. World society and the nation-state. Hence, I argue, investigations and analyses of Cold War isomorphism should centre on communist-regime efforts to influence the process by which IOs and their bureaucracies authorised certain classifications of the world, fixed certain meanings and diffused certain norms.

The theoretical model of Cold War isomorphism proposed here can be summarised as follows: To the extent that communist regimes were successful in having international organisations and their bureaucracies lend legitimacy and authority to positive interpretations of specific communist reforms as signs of progress and modernity, I argue, policy isomorphism with Western countries should also have become stronger on these policy issues.

This is a new, different and non-Marxist conceptualisation of the old idea that East European communism helped shape the development of West European welfare states cf.


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Carr, Carr, E. The soviet impact on the western world.

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London : MacMillan. Age of extremes: The short twentieth century, — London : Abacus. The data for the study consist of the proceedings, reports and publications produced by the ILO during the post-Second World War era, as well as existing research on workplace participation legislation in Europe. In focus are not the actual contents of policies, or how they were put into practice by nation-states, but the timing of formal legislation, and how the formal legislation was described and categorised in ILO discourse. In terms of methodology, simple counts, summarised in two figures, are juxtaposed with descriptions of the policy discussions within the ILO, with examples providing a thick description.

Missing from the data are verbal deliberations that were not recorded in formal protocols. These may potentially have contained more political conflict and contestation than is visible in the written records. Furthermore, the present study does not include data on the motivations or thinking of the ILO bureaucracy or national representatives. However, the topic of diplomatic interests and foreign-policy strategies of Cold War competition inside international organisations is an important area for future studies.

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The article is structured as follows: the first section offers a brief historical background to worker participation policies in Europe. Then the overall theoretical perspective is presented, namely world-polity studies and historical new institutionalism. Allison, Allison, G. Conceptual models and the Cuban Missile Crisis. American Political Science Review , 63 , — In the final section, I present the theoretical conclusions of the case study by developing and elaborating on the proposed model of Cold War isomorphism, and relating it to current debates within world-polity theory on questions of conflict, power, and human rights in the world polity, state socialisation by world society, and the role of international organisations as bureaucracies.

In sum, the present study suggests that the evolution of the contemporary Social Model of the EU was, in part, a product of competition in the cultural Cold War over political legitimacy, as it took place within the universal international organisations of the UN system. The right of employees to be informed and consulted on matters that affect their workplace and local working conditions is considered a core component of the contemporary European Social Model Weiss, Weiss, M. Workplace participation should not be confused, however, with board-level representation, which in English is termed co-determination or joint consultation and in German Mitbestimmung.

The two policy areas have a parallel and at times intertwined history. Discussions within the EEC on worker participation were initially dominated by the issue of board-level representation, modelled on the West-German example. A substantial suggestion was first brought up on the agenda of the EEC by the German government in the late s, in the process of trying to harmonise European company laws Knudsen, Knudsen, H.

Employee participation in Europe. London : Sage.


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With the draft Fifth directive, the possible regulation of co-determination policies by the EEC became a question of adopting the specific German model of dual boards, with both a management board and a supervisory board. The draft Fifth directive was revised twice, in and , adding alternative models of board representation, but never succeeded. View all notes For reasons of clarity, I shall confine this article to worker participation at the level of the workplace, which has been a separate policy-making area within both the ILO and the EU. The starting point of the historical case study is the contemporary European model of workplace participation, as codified by the EU directive European Union.

The EEC adopted its first directives on the broader issue of worker participation within the area of employee participation in the enterprise that is, at the level of the workplace during the late s. These two directives pertained only to specific situations in the enterprise: the Collective Redundancies Directive and the Transfer of Undertakings Directive required that workers be informed and consulted in the event of larger cut-backs in staff, or the sale of the company.

EEC regulation of employee participation at the workplace made its first meaningful step forward in the case of transnational companies — an area where European Union regulations interfere less than with domestic legislation. In contrast, the EU directive covers all undertakings that employ at least 50 employees and are located within the territory of member states.

Solidarity: The Great Workers Strike of 1980 by Michael M. Szporer (Hardback, 2012)

View all notes The EU directive laid down a set of minimum requirements establishing how management must inform and consult their employees at all types of workplaces, be they part of public administration or private enterprise. Geneva: International Labour Organization. EEC interest in the broader issue of worker participation has early roots. This provision, in both the Treaty of Rome and the European Social Charter, protects the general right to collective bargaining Treaty of Rome , article e, and European Social Charter , Article View all notes.

Would the contemporary European model of workplace participation have been as strong without Cold War competition over political legitimacy from the European communist regimes? This means that the institution of works councils in Western Europe precedes both the advent of communist regimes in the Soviet Union and the Cold War cf. Sirianni, Sirianni, C.

Theory and Society , 9 , 29 — Furthermore, after the Second World War, works councils were instituted in many West European countries, building on the experiences of joint efforts by workers and management during the war.