Vytautas Kuokštis

What type of capitalism do the Baltic countries belong to?

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Abstract

Abstract

This paper draws on the Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) approach to analyse the Baltic countries’ politico-economic regimes. The paper discusses the dominant treatment of the Baltic countries as liberal market economies (LMEs) in the literature, and while recognizing many affinities with the LME model, it emphasizes several substantial differences. As a result, a case is made for conceptualizing Baltic capitalism as a distinct variety that is neither LME nor CME. Furthermore, it is not a “hybrid” type, as it has its own logic, distinct institutional complementarities, and displays strong continuities over time. The paper takes into account not only the microeconomic dimension, but also its linkages with the Baltic macroeconomic arrangements. It argues that the functioning of this specific Baltic regime was one of the factors that allowed Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to successfully implement an “internal devaluation” strategy during the Great Recession of 2008–10.

 

Pavol Babos

Peace in companies, tripartite conflict? Comparison of industrial relations at the national and workplace level in Central and Eastern Europe. 

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Abstract

Abstract

This paper investigates the predictive power of the Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) approach for the industrial relations climate in Central Eastern Europe. The research makes use of the 2009 European Company Survey to evaluate the relations of trade unions and management at the workplace. Consequently, it categorises the results according to this theoretical background and compares them to the types of industrial relations described in the VoC literature. The industrial relations climate in the sample countries only shows the expected pattern in terms of the purely attitudinal answers. However, after analysing items based on the experiences of the social partners, the pattern disappears. The main conclusion is that the VoC approach can, to a certain extent, predict the attitudes of labour and management toward each other; however, actual practices are often different from reported attitudes.

 

Adam Mrozowicki

Trade union organizing in Eastern Europe: A viable pathway to trade union revitalization? –A case study of the automotive sector

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Abstract

Abstract

This article examines the mechanism of trade union organizing in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by exploring automotive sector trade union strategies in Estonia, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Data includes expert interviews, the case studies of companies and biographical interviews with company-level trade union leaders. Contrary to Anglo-American experiences, the most successful attempts to organize workers were bottom-up driven rather than top-down designed. This article explains this feature of organising in terms of the resource-based model of union revival, the institutional features of Polish, Slovenian, Estonian and Romanian industrial relations and worker agency at the company level. In the conclusion, the shortcomings of the company-centered approach are discussed.

 

Liptak Katalin

Is atypical typical? – atypical employment in Central Eastern European countries

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Abstract

Abstract

This paper presents the employment situation, in general, and atypical employment, in particular, in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries, which joined the European Union in 2004 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia). This group of countries is called, somewhat imprecisely in geographical terms, the Central Eastern European region. I hypothesise that: the employment position of CEE countries is not satisfactory according to the standards of the European Union; these countries’ human resource positions are weak; the level of atypical employment, which is influenced by several factors, is low; and the main of applicable legal means is not satisfactory. This paper focuses on the major forms of atypical employment relations and examines their significance in the CEE countries. The three research questions the article attempts to answer are: (1) Is there divergence or convergence between the CEE countries in the prevalence of atypical employment forms? (2) What are the differences between the major atypical employment forms? (3) Could the world economic crisis be solved by atypical employment forms.

 

Vera Trappmann

Precarious employment in Poland – a legacy of transition or an effect of European integration?

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Abstract

Abstract

The Polish labour market is characterised by increasing flexibility and precarisation of employment relationships. This is due to the spread of limited-term and civil-law work contracts, in many cases covering a de facto employee-like status without job-security and social rights. These new working conditions, particularly in low-skill service areas, provide many with what is a sub-poverty-line existence, but have yet to become a public scandal. This article seeks to explain why this is the case by reconstructing Polish labour market policies, which are torn between the influences of economic transition and European integration.

 

emecon No 1/2011