Talking about the Same but Different? Cooperation in Social Movement and Industrial Relations Theories. an Integrative Approach.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Giulia GORTANUTTI, Ruhr Universit├Ąt Bochum, Germany
Johanna LAUBER, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Ana-Maria NIKOLAS, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
In the European context, progressive social movements and trade unions have been key forces for the building and strengthening of democracies and the creation of the institutions that govern capitalism. Today, changes in the balance of power have resulted in the ongoing economic crisis, diminishing of democratic space, and multiple institutional failures. However, hope continues to be invested in the ability of trade unions and social movements to counter these developments by joining forces and cooperating with each other. Understanding the reasons for such cooperation and its failures is thus an important empirical and theoretical task.

Both social movement and industrial relations theories have attempted to theorise and empirically research such cooperation, however mainly from the point of view of their own theoretical backgrounds. This paper starts by comparing different yet similar theories of both research fields, calling for a further integration of resources, culture, and political-economic opportunity approaches both theories use, albeit in different ways. The paper suggests that using an integrative approach to study cooperation is an important step towards a more holistic thinking of the relationship between social movements and trade unions.