Facklig organisering i tolv länder

Translated title of the contribution: Trade Union Organisation in Twelve Countries

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This dissertation is about the development of power relations in the labour market, with special reference to Sweden under Social Democratic rule 1932-1976. The rate of unionisation and coverage of union workplace organisations are used as indicators of union strength. To get a picture of the power relations between the labour market parties, also the power resources of employers and their attitudes towards trade unions are considered. An internationally comparative and historical method is used. The period after 1930 is analyzed against the background of the previous development of labour relations. Comparisons are made with nine other Western European countries as well as the USA and Australia. After the Second World War, Sweden ranks first in the group of five countries with highest union density. Another group of five countries is situated at the other end of the spectrum, with the remaining two in a middle position. The rate of unionisation is specified for different groups of blue-collar and white-collar workers. It is related to the development of the economic and international political conjuncture, the character and total strength of the labour movemnt and union presence at the workplace level. Among the most important determinants of the high union density in Sweden are not only the strong confederations and national unions of blue-collar and white-collar workers (the centralised feature of Swedish unionism), but also the decentralised character of the union movement, i e the widespread workplace organisations carrying out important functions. In other words: the simultaneously centralised and decentralised character of Swedish trade unions. Another circumstance promoting a high union density is the existence of union unemployment funds in the countries with a high rate of unionisation (Norway is an exception, but on the other hand the Norwegian density is far lower than that in Sweden and other Nordic countries).
Translated title of the contributionTrade Union Organisation in Twelve Countries
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Sociology
  • Therborn, Göran, Supervisor, External person
Award date1983 Sep 30
ISBN (Print)91 85 118 966
Publication statusPublished - 1983

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 1983-09-30
Time: 10:15
Place: Sal 26, Sociologiska institutionen, Getingevägen 8, Lund
External reviewer(s)
Name: Korpi, Walter
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Stockholms universitet

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • department of sociology
  • sociology
  • industrial relations


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