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
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.
Read more at www.businessweek.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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.
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.
Foto: MKULNV NRW
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.