Parties And Unions In The New Global Economy

This book offers an outstanding analysis of changing party-union relations in Mexico, Spain, and Venezuela during periods of economic crisis and adjustment. It is original in approach, sophisticated in conceptualization, and sure-footed in execution. . . . A major addition to the literatures on the politics of economic reform and on labor movements in Latin America and Western Europe.
Kevin J. Middlebrook, University of London

For much of the twentieth century, unions played a vital role in shaping political regimes and economic development strategies, particularly in Latin America and Europe. However, their influence has waned as political parties with close ties to unions have adopted neoliberal reforms harmful to the interests of workers.
What do unions do when confronted with this “loyalty dilemma”? Katrina Burgess compares events in three countries to determine the reasons for widely divergent responses on the part of labor leaders to remarkably similar challenges. She argues that the key to understanding why some labor leaders protest and some acquiesce lies essentially in two domains: the relative power of the party and the workers to punish them, and the party’s capacity to act autonomously from its own government.

about the author

Katrina Burgess

Katrina Burgess, assistant professor of international political economy at the Flectcher School of Law and Diplomacy, is the coeditor of The California-Mexico Connection.

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Katrina Burgess