This book offers the detailed historical background required for a holistic appreciation of current problems faced and the possibilities for revitalisation. In two volumes it provides introductory overviews of trade union development since the end of World War II in 26 countries from every corner of the globe. Each chapter explains the main contours of trade union growth and development in one country from the pivotal year 1945 to the present. Each chapter assesses the often dynamic expansion of trade unionism in the 1950s and 1960s; the role of trade unionism in the movements for national liberation in the Global South and the erection of social welfare systems in the developed North; the ecomic shocks that resulted in membership decline and loss of political influence from the late 1970s onward; the ecomic restructuring and growing labour market diversity of the 1980s and 1990s that undercut the traditional bases of trade union membership; and the historical roots of the contemporary political and ecomic context in which revitalisation efforts are taking place.
The Editor: Craig Phelan is editor of the journal Labor History and Professor of Modern History at Kingston University, London.