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Edited by Geoffrey Wood and Mehmet Demirbag
Chapter 18: Between Welfare and Bargaining: Union Heterogeneity in Europe’s ‘Far East’
18 Between welfare and bargaining: union heterogeneity in Europe’s ‘Far East’ Richard Croucher and Claudio Morrison 18.1 INTRODUCTION: INSTITUTIONAL THEORY AND UNIONS Institutional theory has only recently begun to extend beyond the developed, relatively stable societies of Western Europe and the USA; recognition of heterogeneity in union functions is likely to constitute a prerequisite for its further extension within post-socialist Europe. This chapter identifies the sources and nature of union functional diversity in Moldova. We illustrate that this type of internal diversity, in part a product of external influences and incoherent reform, is greater than in much of the rest of Europe where unions’ key industrial function is collective bargaining. Trade union functions, as we illustrate, may not be assumed or derived from Central and East European (CEE) countries (for a helpful institutionalist analysis of CEE countries see Noelke and Vliegenhart 2009), still less from West European or American models. Neoliberal-based discussions of institutions have contributed to the study of post-Communist societies (Meyer 2001; Meyer and Peng 2005). They have assumed a union-free world and to this extent have seriously distorted socio-economic reality. This influential analytic tradition is concerned with those institutions assumed to be required by neoclassical economics for markets to function effectively such as privatization, enterprise restructuring, banking reform, securities markets, commercial law and financial regulation (North 1990). These institutions as social norms, as North persistently underlined, are held to constitute the essential impersonal rules of the game for development. In Moldova, as elsewhere, many of the institutional...
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