17 March 2014

Three approaches to coordinated bargaining: A case for power-based explanations

Article by Christian Lyhne Ibsen

This article discusses three theoretical approaches to the study of coordinated collective bargaining, each positing different causal mechanisms: rational choice, rationalist institutionalism and discursive institutionalism. Each approach involves a different view of the exercise of power and distributional consequences. The three approaches are applied to the critical cases of Sweden and Denmark. The conclusion drawn is that coordination is not purely cooperative, and that cooperation is itself conditioned by power relations. Thus power must be placed at the heart of coordination studies.

Article in European Journal of Industrial Relations, published online March 2014 (DOI: 10.1177/0959680114527032). Printed version will follow by the end of 2014.