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Turning to Europe

A new Swedish Industrial Relations Regime

Sofia Murhem

Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Studies in Economic History 68. 250 s. 2003 Uppsala. ISBN 91-554-5726-6.

This dissertation explores the transformation of the industrial relations regime in Sweden during the 1990s. Four areas are studied; industrial relations of the growing service sector, industrial relations of small enterprises, introduction of competition on industrial relations in telecommunications service and internationalisation of industrial relations in the metal sector and effects of re-regulation, showing that in the 1990s, the labour market regime of Sweden changed into a new regime, as a result of altered conditions caused by the third industrial revolution. The changes took place within a certain context and were governed by a strong path dependence. The internationalisation or Europeanization of the economy, foremost the upsurge in ingoing foreign direct investments, increased the Swedish industry's dependence on non-national actors and economy. The employers and the trade unions had strong incentives to come to an agreement (the Industrial Agreement in 1997), to achieve international competitiveness. The increasing dependence on (Western/European) trade and investments caused additional adjustments of industrial relations. The Europeanization of the political decision making process (EU membership) had also an impact, to which was added liberalisation, abandoning monopolies etc, but the effect were not as substantial as that of (economic) internationalisation.
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