Short cuts

International Conference "Changing Course for a Good Life"

With a call to "change course", which links an eco­lo­gi­cal restruc­tu­ring of the eco­nomy with the expan­sion of life oppor­tu­nities and the demo­cra­tiza­tion of society, IG Metall - the German Industrial Union of Metalworkers - intends to add its own con­cep­tual con­tri­bu­tion to the broa­der social debate.

Here you will find the schedule


Bloomberg News: Roubini Says Fiscal Compact Will Deepen Euro Area Recession

Nouriel Roubini, co-founder of Roubini Global Economics LLC, said the fis­cal com­pact will deepen the euro area reces­sion next year, even as coun­tries such Germany and Austria will be obli­ged to cut deficits.

“Next year we are also going to have aus­te­rity in the core of the euro area because the newly agreed fis­cal com­pact says that even Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Austria have to cut their defi­cits,” Roubini told repor­ters at a con­fe­rence today in Berlin orga­ni­zed by IG Metall, Germany’s big­gest trade union.


Surviving the EU? The future for national employment models in Europe

Jill Rubery, Gerhard Bosch and Steffen Lehndorff

The claim by the European Union (EU) to be both the moder­ni­ser and the effec­tive
saviour of dis­tinc­tive European ways of doing things is chal­len­ged by this review of
the multi-tiered influ­ence of the EU on change in natio­nal models. Competition and
macroeco­no­mic policy is argued to be more signi­fi­cant than soft law in resha­ping
natio­nal models and in cons­trai­ning inno­va­tion and change to meet new con­di­ti­ons.
Lip ser­vice is paid by the EU to dif­fe­rent paths of deve­lop­ment, but the con­tra­dic­tions
and syn­er­gies across insti­tu­tio­nal and policy approa­ches that under­pin the notion of
varie­ties of capi­ta­lism go unre­cognised. European employ­ment models are seen as
pri­ma­rily con­tri­bu­ting to social pro­tec­tion, but the poten­tial role for dis­tinc­tive
models to pro­mote com­pa­ra­tive advan­tage, as under varie­ties of capi­ta­lism ana­ly­sis,
is not on the policy agenda.

Read the full arti­cle.

IG Metall calls for a “social progress clause” for the European Union

Together with the European trade uni­ons, IG Metall calls for a “social pro­gress clause” for the European Union as an inte­gral part of European pri­mary law. This will safe­guard natio­nal achie­ve­ments such as trade union rights and collec­tive wage agree­ment systems.

Enclosed you will find the IG Metall paper on Europe which has two parts

  • Stabilizing Germany as an anchor of growth in Europe (Part I)
  • Change of course for European soli­da­rity (Part II)

The paper is avail­able in Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, English, French, Greek, Italian and German.

The Sociology of Human Rights

Noel Whiteside and Alice Mah, both University of Warwick, wrote an arti­cle for the May 2012 issue of BSA Sociology Journal entit­led "Human rights and ethi­cal rea­so­n­ing: capa­bi­li­ties, con­ven­ti­ons and sphe­res of public action".

This inter­di­sci­pli­nary paper argues that human rights must be under­s­tood in terms of oppor­tu­nities for social par­ti­ci­pa­tion and that social and eco­no­mic rights are inte­gral to any dis­cus­sion of the sub­ject. We offer both a social con­struc­tio­nist and a nor­ma­tive frame­work for a socio­logy of human rights which rea­ches beyond libe­ral indi­vi­dua­lism, com­bi­ning insights from the work of Amartya Sen and from French con­ven­tion theory.

One sex doesn’t fit all

Once govern­ments start pus­hing the purchase of a com­mer­cial pro­duct
for social policy pur­po­ses, dis­tinc­tions bet­ween public policy and pri­vate
com­mer­cial activity become unsustainable.

By Bernard Casey and Noel Whiteside

Read full arti­cle.

Noel Whiteside on future retirement provision

Noel Whitesidet

Noel Whiteside

In oppo­si­tion to libe­ral theo­ries that under­stand indi­vi­du­als as inde­pen­dent agents moti­va­ted by per­so­nal gain, con­ven­tion theory argues that human beings as essen­ti­ally inter­de­pen­dent. To rea­lise objec­tives, all need to anti­ci­pate the reac­tion of others to their initia­ti­ves. The theory demons­tra­tes how collec­tive con­fi­dence and trust are cen­tral to human activity: collec­tively accep­ted sys­tems of co-ordination are requi­red to pro­mote suc­cess­ful social and eco­no­mic action.

In this con­text, mar­ket mecha­nisms – based on jud­ge­ments of qua­lity and rela­tive costs and reli­ant on com­pe­ti­tion to fos­ter maxi­mum choice at opti­mal pri­ces – offer but one form of co-ordination. Other co-ordinating con­ven­ti­ons involve accep­tance of com­mon codes (of mea­su­re­ment in engi­nee­ring or medi­cine, for example) or moral duties (fos­te­red by reli­gious obser­vance, per­haps) or civic obli­ga­ti­ons (to abide by the deci­sion of the majo­rity when draf­ting laws). Weiterlesen

Economic Democracy as Opportunity for Trade Unionism

Foto: London School of Economics and Political

Interview with Richard Hyman, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LTE), about his view of eco­no­mic demo­cracy and the oppor­tu­nities it offers for trade unio­nism: it can rein­vi­go­rate trade uni­ons as a social move­ment - if we for­mu­late it con­cre­tely and ask the key ques­ti­ons: What do we do with money? And who deci­des? Why not working people?

Richard, what does eco­no­mic demo­cracy mean to you? And why should trade uni­ons put it on top of their poli­ti­cal agenda?
Hyman: The cur­rent eco­no­mic cri­sis is the result of how capi­ta­lism has evol­ved during the last three deca­des. It led to an expo­nen­tial rise in the inco­mes of the rich, who used their sur­plus to spe­cu­late on finan­cial mar­kets. The con­ti­nuing out­come of the cri­sis is gro­wing ine­qua­lity and an increase in social exclu­sion. There is cle­arly some­thing wrong with the sys­tem. There can be no return to "busi­ness as usual", yet neo­li­be­ra­lism seems stron­ger than ever. The idea of eco­no­mic demo­cracy offers a vision of popu­lar empower­ment which could rein­vi­go­rate trade unio­nism as a social move­ment – and help launch a struggle for a genui­nely alter­na­tive economy.


Prevention of work-related stress

Foto: IG Metall

Prevention of work-related stress needs
shop floor initia­ti­ves and obli­gatory
regu­la­tion. Klaus Pickshaus, Director
Work Structuring and Vocational
Training Politics Directorate, explains
the posi­tion of IG Metall.


"The technological leaps in NRW have almost been referred with energy.“

Johannes Remmel


Since July 2010 the green party mem­ber Johannes Remmel is minis­ter for cli­mate pro­tec­tion and environ­men­tal care in North Rhine-Westphalia. The NRW govern­ment has ambi­tious objec­tives. The goal is to reduce the emis­sion dra­ma­ti­cally and to lead the tra­di­tio­nal core of the German indus­try, the sec­tor of car­bon and steel, to a pro­vi­der of high tech­no­logy in the future mar­ket for cli­mate protection.