De-linking labor: Labor unions and social democratic parties under globalization

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This article evaluates the thesis that the relationship between national labor movements and social democratic political parties has become 'delinked' in the past two decades as a result of globalization. As globalization has undermined the political relevance of unions, social democratic parties have pursued independent, and more conservative, policies and have courted a diversity of other interest groups. This thesis is tested using a pooled time-series multiple regression analysis of 16 advanced industrialized countries spanning the period 1950-95. Globalization -measured both in terms of a country's general 'openness' to the world economy and specifically in terms of international trade and direct investment abroad - is found to be positively related both to the widening success gap between unions and social democratic parties and to the growing policy conservatism of social democratic parties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-435
Number of pages23
JournalParty Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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