Synopses & Reviews
The reunification of Germany in 1990 juxtaposed two very different models of industrial relations. This volume assesses the results. By the late 1980s, West Germany had developed and refined a largely collaborative relationship between business and labor, codified in law, that governed industrial relations effectively. How would East German workers, operating within a completely different system for forty years, respond to West Germany's institutional social partnership? Would western-style social partnership spread to all of the New Germany, or find itself seriously destabilized?
The internationally recognized scholars who contribute to this volume are unanimous in their admiration of key elements in the German model. They diverge, however, on their assessments of the resilience of that model in the face of dramatic new challenges in the 1990s. Some emphasize the process of erosion and the current sense of crisis. They cite the strain that enormous resource transfers from West to East created for such social systems as comprehensive collective bargaining, codetermination, vocational training, and broad benefits. Other authors are more impressed with the successful transfer of western institutions to eastern Germany and the basic stability of the social partnership system