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January 2004
224 pages  

6 x 9
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Parties and Unions in the New Global Economy
Burgess, Katrina
A comparative examination of how union leaders in Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela respond when the political parties traditionally allied with labor enact laws harmful to workers.

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Katrina Burgess, assistant professor of international political economy at the Flectcher School of Law and Diplomacy, is the coeditor of The California-Mexico Connection.
"This book offers an outstanding analysis of changing party-union relations in Mexico, Spain, and Venezuela during periods of economic crisis and adjustment. It is original in approach, sophisticated in conceptualization, and sure-footed in execution. . . . A major addition to the literatures on the politics of economic reform and on labor movements in Latin America and Western Europe."—Kevin J. Middlebrook, University of London

"Offers readers an elegant and compelling argument on the way unions respond to the ‘loyalty dilemma’ they face when allied political parties adopt anti-labor policies. This book will enrich and enliven scholarly discussion."—Robert Fishman, University of Notre Dame

“Useful for understanding the changing relationship between political parties and trade unions. . . . A solid piece of work.”—Labor History; Vol 45. No. 3, August 2004

“Knits together a powerful and elegant argument with well-documented case studies. . . .The writing is engaging, and succeeds in capturing the complexity and fluidity of the empirical material while avoiding unnecessary detail.” --Latin American Politics and Society

“Concise, well written, and timely . . . an excellent contribution to the literature.”— The Americas

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Pitt Latin American Series Table of Contents
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For much of the twentieth century, unions played a vital role in shaping political regimes and economic development strategies, particularly in Latin America and Europe. However, their influence has waned as political parties with close ties to unions have adopted neoliberal reforms harmful to the interests of workers. What do unions do when confronted with this “loyalty dilemma”? Katrina Burgess compares events in three countries to determine the reasons for widely divergent responses on the part of labor leaders to remarkably similar challenges. She argues that the key to understanding why some labor leaders protest and some acquiesce lies essentially in two domains: the relative power of the party and the workers to punish them, and the party's capacity to act autonomously from its own government.


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