The Swedish Trade Union System in Transition: High but Falling Union Density

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The chapter on Sweden in this book on trade union revitalisation in 34 countries analyzes the Swedish model of industrial relations and its current challenges, among them the falling union density. The recent development of industrial relations is characterized in terms of a new mix of decentralisation and centralisation and of self-regulation and state regulation.

Contents of the Swedish chapter:
1. Introduction
2. Separate White-Collar Unions and Confederations
3. Combined Centralisation and Decentralisation
4. Self-Regulation
5. Union Unemployment Funds
6. Very High but Declining Union Density
7. Declining Coverage of Union Workplace Organisations
8. A New Mix of Decentralisation and Centralisation, and of Self-Regulation and State Regulation
9. Other Challenges to Unions
10. Union Responses and Future Prospects


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

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


  • Swedish model, TCO, sociology, arbetsliv, state regulation, arbetsmarknad, centralisation, union movement, decentralisation, sociologi, industrial relations, trade unions, a-kassa, facklig organisationsgrad, blue-collar workers, union unemployment fund, SACO, fackförening, Ghent system, white-collar workers, fackförbund, LO, self-regulation, union density, sociologiska institutionen, department of sociology, svenska modellen
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrade Union Revitalisation: Trends and Prospects in 34 Countries
EditorsCraig Phelan
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing Group
ISBN (Print)978-3-03911-009-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Anders Kjellbergs hemsida Information om boken
Bokens innehållsförteckning ERRATA (1): The Swedish Mediation Office (Mediation Institute) was founded in the year 2000 (not in 2001 as mentioned at p. 277).
Errata (2): under Suggested Reading p. 285 Thörnqvist, C. (1999) should be author of the article in European Journal of Industrial Relations.

Related research output

Anders Kjellberg, 2009, In : Transfer - European Review of Labour and Research. 15, 3-4, p. 481-504 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Anders Kjellberg, 2009, Trade Unionism since 1945: Towards a Global History: Volume 1: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Phelan, C. (ed.). Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing Group, Vol. 1. p. 155-198 44 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

View all (2)

Related projects

Anders Kjellberg


Project: Research

View all (1)