Industrial Relations in Europe: Between Core and Peripheries (CfP)

24 October 2016

The Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) will take place in Warsaw, on 7-8 September 2017 (Call for Papers - PDF)

Industrial relations in European countries are currently in the process of profound transformation that will have both long-term and short-term effects.

The long-term trends, such as decentralization of collective bargaining, decreasing union density and erosion of corporatist institutions of social dialogue, have been further exacerbated by the impact of the global financial crisis, the resulting austerity measures and the emergence of new systems of European governance. In the face of multiple challenges, such as the expansion of precarious employment, increasing mobility of labour and capital, the weakening of welfare states and systems of social protection and the rise of digital economy, industrial relations actors’ capacities to represent their actual and potential members and to regulate employment relations have become increasingly limited.

In the context of the current economic and political crises of the European Union, it becomes necessary for our discipline to ask questions about the future of the European industrial relations. Are we now witnessing the expansion of illusory corporatism (which was previously said to be characteristic of Eastern European countries) also to the Western “core” countries? Alternatively, is the path-dependent development model of variegated industrial relations still valid, and therefore, do the current challenges simply reinforce the extant country vs. country, East vs. West, or core vs. periphery differences?  Crucially, under which conditions can the current crisis be used as an opportunity to rethink and implement the high-road European model of industrial relations across the European Union countries? Can the crisis be used as a springboard for creating new solidarities and institutional coordination in Europe?

The Industrial Relation in Europe Conference in Warsaw in 2017 will aim to develop a critical understanding of the above-mentioned problems and challenges.

Prospective participants are asked to submit abstracts of max 400 words by 31 March 2017 via the submission form available at:

Paper proposals may be theoretical and/or empirical (using both/either qualitative or quantitative methods). As in the case of previous conferences, European comparative research papers are especially welcome. We invite paper proposals that will fit one of the 12 streams listed below:

Special stream: HR’s role in managing disability in the workplace. Employment Relations Today

Authors of all proposals will be notified about the results of their abstracts’ evaluation by the members of Scientific Board and Organizing Committee by April 30th 2017.

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