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Holding the Shop TogetherGerman Industrial Relations in the Postwar Era$
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Stephen J. Silvia

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452215

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452215.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Holding the Shop Together

Stephen J. Silvia

Cornell University Press

This book explores the trajectory of Germany's industrial relations system in the years after World War II and relates it to the German economy. The story of industrial relations in postwar Germany is reflective of many broader economic, political, and social trends in the country during this period. From the 1950s through the 1970s, the postwar German industrial relations system flourished and served as an important component of an effective economy and a sound democracy. Trade unions and employers associations embraced “social partnership,” that is, they accepted each other as equal partners that work together constructively to advance the economic and social well-being of German citizens. Using historical institutionalism and statistical analysis, this book examines the two most prominent explanations for developments in German industrial relations: the “erosion” and “exhaustion” arguments. Part I discusses the framework of the German industrial relations system, while Part II looks at the principal role played by trade unions and employers associations in industrial relations.

Keywords:   industrial relations system, industrial relations, postwar Germany, trade unions, employers associations, social partnership, erosion and exhaustion arguments, German economy

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