Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Wednesday 12 April 2023 14.00 - 16.00
G-3 LAB08 Labour, Capital and European Integration
B24
Networks: Labour , Politics, Citizenship, and Nations Chairs: -
Organizer: Johan Svanberg Discussants: -
Moderators: -
Susanne Berghofer : The Swedish Textile and Clothing Industry – Crises and Opportunities as European Markets Opened, and International Trade Barriers Diminished
The textile and clothing industry has historically been an important part of the Swedish industrial sector. At its peak in the early 1950s, it employed 10% of all industrial labour in Sweden, mainly women. During the following decades, it´s market share however dropped dramatically.

From the 1950s and onwards, ... (Show more)
The textile and clothing industry has historically been an important part of the Swedish industrial sector. At its peak in the early 1950s, it employed 10% of all industrial labour in Sweden, mainly women. During the following decades, it´s market share however dropped dramatically.

From the 1950s and onwards, a new era of increased international trade and competition entered the Western World, in Europe promoted by market infrastructure institutions such as EEC and EFTA. With increased intra-European competition as well as a number of new textile-producing countries entering the scene, the Swedish textile-manufactures faced a new reality. The new situation demanded structural changes towards a more mechanised and efficient production line, as well as for increased specialization.

In the 1960s, the import of cheap, ready wear fashion to Sweden increased dramatically, at the same time as consumer patterns changed. The clothing industry then started to face similar difficulties as earlier seen in the textile sector. Moving the production from Sweden to so called low-wage countries then became a new option.

In 1960 Sweden became one of the founding members of the European Free Trade Association EFTA, an economic alliance that at the same time meant being outside the inner circle of the EEC.
How did the employer organizations of the Swedish textile and clothing industry meet these challenges and what type of strategies did they develop to promote their members interests? The empirical study period is set to 1957-1973 and is based on the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and the formation of the EEC and the Treaty of Stockholm in 1960 that in turn generated the EFTA, and ends with the first oil crisis in 1973.

To answer these questions the employer organizations board meeting protocols will be examined. The protocols will provide an insight to the discussions within the organization regarding the different topics as well as how and what type of strategies they formed and performed. The textile- and clothing industry’s joint monthly branch magazine will also be examined to in order to study the industry’s external voice and their communication to the outside world of politicians and policymakers.

By studying a section of the Swedish industry that met challenges as markets opened and faced increased international competition, this paper contrasts previous research on the Swedish industrial European integration which have mainly focused on the more successful parts of the industry (such as mining and minerals, paper, cars, and shipbuilding). Furthermore, previous research on the Swedish textile and clothing industry have largely had a labour/union perspective. By instead using an employer/business perspective, this paper provides new insights to these processes. (Show less)

Marvin Schnippering : The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and the Balancing Act between German Interests and a European Spirit
This paper analyses DGB’s European policy from the 1970s until the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Based on sources from DGB’s archive, the paper studies how DGB analysed economic crisis phenomena in this period. This study will be done by analysing policy fields that relate to the European Economic and Monetary ... (Show more)
This paper analyses DGB’s European policy from the 1970s until the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Based on sources from DGB’s archive, the paper studies how DGB analysed economic crisis phenomena in this period. This study will be done by analysing policy fields that relate to the European Economic and Monetary Union. As a result, the paper presents DGB’s response to the economic challenges of the 1970s and 1980s.

The challenge that DGB faced lay not only in the adverse economic situation. Additionally, DGB was a dominantly national actor. This national bias hampered its ability to impact policymakers in a time of increased European and global interdependence. This observation led to the view that DGB embraced a German-centric approach to European integration and economic crisis. Instead, this paper argued that DGB made an active effort to bridge German interests and those of Germany’s partners in the European Community (EC). This aim was discernible in DGB’s internal discussion and public statements, which were the basis of DGB’s European policy.

Moreover, the paper rejects accounts that consider the trade unions as passive victims of globalisation. On the contrary, DGB recognised the forces of economic change and produced alternatives. The fact that these alternatives were not adopted does not mean that DGB was oblivious to the economic shifts of the time. Furthermore, the paper will analyse how DGB indented to put its views and proposals through. Thus, the paper highlights the agency that DGB exhibited in the European policy arena.

The economic policy underlying DGB’s European programme strove for a policy that simultaneously benefited Germany and the other EC members. In doing so, DGB took the interest of its members, its partner organisations in the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and rich and poor member states equally into account. Therefore, DGB’s approach entailed elements that are highly topical in a Europe increasingly divided by different economic and political interests. (Show less)

Brian Shaev : Transnational Socialism, Welfare, and Social Policy in the early European Communities
This paper analyses transnational socialist participation and responses to the core features of European social policy in the 1950s-1970s. The paper begins by considering how socialists forecasted the impact that a coal and steel common market would have on the working conditions, (un)employment, and social rights of coal and steel ... (Show more)
This paper analyses transnational socialist participation and responses to the core features of European social policy in the 1950s-1970s. The paper begins by considering how socialists forecasted the impact that a coal and steel common market would have on the working conditions, (un)employment, and social rights of coal and steel workers in the 1950s. It then examines their attempts to influence and revise the social clauses of European treaties in communication with the High Authority and the intergovernmental team negotiating the Treaties of Rome in 1955-1957. Third, it analyses their efforts to build supranational welfare policies in and beyond heavy industry during the opening of the EEC in the late 1950-early 1960s. Finally, it considers the transnational dimension and reception of reinvigorated proposals for “Social Europe” associated in particular with initiatives of Willy Brandt’s SPD-led German government in 1969-1973, after a lull in the mid-1960s.

The paper’s second ambition is to examine the philosophical relation between welfare and economic integration underlying socialist thought and discussions in the 1950s-1970s on the construction and deepening of a European common market. Here the paper reflects on the growing tension between economic and social governance in national and supranational spheres in order to anticipate the “failure” of the “Social Europe” agenda by the late 1970s-early 1980s in a growing context of neoliberalism. It is worthwhile examining how transnational socialists in and out of European parliamentary bodies conceptualized welfare in the move from a coal and steel common market to a general common market in the 1950s-1970s. Doing so will bring to the fore the contested nature of early European social policy, which has only recently begun to be recognized in academic literature. (Show less)

Johan Svanberg : Trade-Union Internationalism in the Textile and Garment Sector and European Integration
The labour movement has persistently stressed transnational features of class and emphasised internationalism as an ideological and organisational basis. However, the meaning of socialist internationalism, and its practical consequences, have been contradictory. The nation has been a part of the labour movement’s foundation, both as institutionalised identity and as an ... (Show more)
The labour movement has persistently stressed transnational features of class and emphasised internationalism as an ideological and organisational basis. However, the meaning of socialist internationalism, and its practical consequences, have been contradictory. The nation has been a part of the labour movement’s foundation, both as institutionalised identity and as an organizational principle. The main purpose of trade unions – to defend their members’ interests on national labour markets – has limited their ability to act internationally. This paper analyses how European trade-union representatives in the Textile and Garment industry have handled the balance between international cooperation and nationally-defined interests, when economic and political issues of trade-union importance have transcended nation-state borders. Here, the focus is on international trade-union reactions and agency as regards the developing free movements of labour, capital and goods in Europe during the 1950s and 1960s. The International Federation of Textile Workers’ Associations and The International Garment Workers’ Federation are at the centre of attention. (Show less)



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