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Journal Article

Union Democracy Revisited: Decision-Making Procedures in the Italian Labour Movement

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Baccaro, L. (2001). Union Democracy Revisited: Decision-Making Procedures in the Italian Labour Movement. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 22(2), 183-210. doi:10.1177/0143831X01222002.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-D796-4
This article cticly discusses a time-honoured thesis in the social sience literature, that membership control over union policy may be undesirable due to its potentially adverse effects on third parties and/ or society as a whole. Based on extensive field research in Italy, the article fast analyses the issue in general terms and then illustrates empirically two scenarios in which the presene of democratic decision-making procedures (that is, procedures which both involve the rank and file wurkers and give them ultiirate decision-msaking power) is not only compatible but even conducive to 'responsible'union behaviour while their absence leads to opposite outcomes. The two empirical illustrations examine the trajectory of centrali2ed bargaining in Italy between the lOSOs and 1990s and the tradeoffs facing the employees of two matched -paired factories in the Mezzogiorno, respectively.