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date: 13 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on works councils, adopting the definition of Rogers and Streeck. It is concerned with countries with generalized systems of representation – where participation structures exist largely independently of management wishes – and not with those where representative bodies may be established voluntarily through localized management initiatives. The article also limits attention to bodies with the capacity to discuss a broad agenda of employment- and work-related issues; this means, for example, that the statutory health and safety committees, which exist in many countries without works councils, are ignored. On this definition, works councils are almost exclusively a phenomenon of continental Western Europe, and the article discusses why this is the case. Its focus is specifically on national institutions; it does not examine the one instance of mandatory supranational structures: European Works Councils. Nor does the article consider board-level employee representation.

Keywords: works councils, generalized systems, participation structures, work-related issues, national institutions

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