In this article, we assess whether unionization of national workforces influences growth in national carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita. Political-economic theories in environmental sociology propose that labor unions have the potential to affect environmental conditions. Yet, few studies have quantitatively assessed the influence of unionization on environmental outcomes using cross-national data. We estimate multilevel regression models using data on OECD member nations from 1970 to 2014. Results from our analysis indicate that unionization, measured as the percentage of workers who are union members, is negatively associated with CO2 emissions per capita, even when controlling for labor conditions. This finding suggests that unionization may promote environmental protection at the national level.
A Cross-National Panel Analysis of Unionization and Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Camila Huerta Alvarez, Julius Alexander McGee and Richard York
The coal industry exercises a pervasive influence upon mining communities in Appalachia even though it makes minimal contributions to employment. Miners rarely participate in movements that fight against coal companies for better working conditions. One explanation for this paradox is the depletion of social capital. In this article, I first use the existing body of literature to build a theoretical framework for discussing bonding social capital. Second, I analyze how the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky at the beginning of the twentieth century worked to generate social capital. The results show that these coalfield residents demonstrated a high degree of social capital in terms of a strong shared sense of reliability and a dedication to collective activities and intimate networks. The union during that period engaged in strategies that were instrumental in creating this high level of social capital: holding regular meetings, organizing collective actions, promoting collective identity, and electing charismatic leaders.
Giulia Maria Cavaletto
In May 2016, the Italian Parliament passed Law No. 76/2016 titled “Regulations of Civil Unions between Persons of the Same Sex and Discipline of Cohabitation.” The law provides for same-sex marriages and also introduces rights and protections to unmarried cohabitants. It followed on from a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which in July 2015 condemned Italy for its legislative gap with respect to homosexual unions. Civil unions have since become a new public institution that regulates the rights and obligations of all couples living together without marriage, whether homosexual or any other type of couple. The legislation contains some gray areas: it excludes the possibility of stepchild adoption by homosexual couples and does not allow the adoption of children by unmarried heterosexual couples. Nonetheless, the civil union represents a key step toward the achievement of equality by recognizing new ways of being a family.
In the early months of 2007, the question of legal recognition for de
facto couples was one of the main talking points in public and political
debate. Having been included in the center-left Unione coalition’s
2006 general election manifesto, it gave rise to a parliamentary bill
known as the DICO. In this chapter, we will examine the issue and
implications of civil unions in order to gain a better understanding of
the current relationship between the Church, the Catholic community,
and Italian politics. Moreover, as we will see, analyzing events surrounding
the DICO inevitably leads to the sensitive subject of the Italian
state’s lay character. Campaigns for and against the DICO bill were
launched in the media and at the ground level not only by the Church
and specific parties, but also by ad hoc groups of Catholics and lay
people involved in politics. Indeed, we can view the DICO episode
against a wider background of regulation (or attempted regulation)
concerning ethically sensitive questions in recent years. It therefore
offers an interesting perspective from which to consider the type of
political representation adopted by the Church.
The Role of Visual Methods in Analyzing Union Protest Strategy
Janis Bailey and Di McAtee
This article reports on an unusual participant observer study of a union campaign. The researchers are an academic with an interest in union strategy and a visual artist/community arts trainer. We used a multi-method approach, with a focus on ethnography. Visual mater- ial (including many photographs) and ephemera were collected as part of the study. The essay examines how the use of visual repre- sentations contributed both to the unfolding methodology of the study and the theoretical analysis. It enabled us to develop a complex cultural materialist framework to analyze the campaign, bringing together a variety of theoretical approaches that have not hitherto been used in the ﬁeld of study of industrial relations. We began the research with a 'simple' desire to collect illustrative material of a col- orful and interesting campaign. The research led us to conclude, however, that visual data can contribute in important ways, in the words of Stallybrass and White (1986), to a deeper understanding of “the politics and poetics of union transgression.”
In the summer of 1985 the BBC entered a period of crisis. It had planned to broadcast a documentary called At the Edge of the Union which featured extensive interviews with two of Northern Ireland’s more outspoken political figures, Martin McGuinness, senior Sinn Féin politician and someone who has admitted membership of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Derry, and Gregory Campbell, an outspoken member of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Unaware of the existence of the yet to be broadcast programme, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made a speech in Washington arguing that the media should not give terrorists ‘the oxygen of publicity’. After Rupert Murdoch’s paper, The Times, linked the stories, the Home Secretary at the time asked for the programme to be banned, the Board of Governors of the BBC attempted to intervene, and the system of editorial control of the BBC spiralled down into disarray. Rupert Murdoch was busy launching Sky Television so undermining the BBC was convenient but for the BBC, covering Northern Ireland, which its journalists and documentary makers were always keen to do, had always been a problem. Much editorial policy within the organisation had developed specifically to deal with the precarious position of the state in the six northeastern counties of the island of Ireland.
On 1 July 2003, Italy assumed for the seventh time the presidency of
the European Union. The previous Italian presidency was held during
the first semester of 1996 under the leadership of Romano Prodi. For
various reasons, which will be explored in the first section of this
chapter, the role of the presidency of the EU has been of great political
importance not only in Europe but also on domestic and international
levels. Every member state has, in its own history, experienced
an EU presidency that was more or less successful and that helped
build its European reputation. Beyond producing effective reports, the
previous six Italian presidencies contributed to the construction of the
image of a country that, although politically weak, identified strongly
with the values and objectives of European integration. The 1996
presidency, marked by salient issues such as the start of intergovernmental
negotiations that led to the Treaty of Amsterdam, growth and
employment, and preparation for monetary union, had even managed
to increase Italy’s European credibility.
Reclaiming labor, conflict, and mutualism in Italy
Since the global crisis of 2008, Italy has witnessed several recoveries of failed private enterprises led by workers trying to escape the precarization of life under austerity. Some see this phenomenon as linked to the highly politicized occupations that took place in Argentina during the crisis of 2001. Italian recoveries, however, are usually far less controversial affairs carried out under the aegis of the state. What explains this difference? Looking at exceptions within the Italian case provides some answers. For example, a protracted conflict between workers (labor) and ownership (capital), the building of links with transnational struggles (including the Argentinian one), and the rediscovery of past working-class values such as mutualism all appear to be factors that can generate collective responses to austerity.
Erik Oddvar Eriksen and John Erik Fossum, eds., Democracy in the European Union (New York: Routledge, 2000)
Dusan Sidjanski, The Federal Future of Europe: From the European Community to the European Union (Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 2000)
Richard G. Hirsch
The ninetieth anniversary of the World Union enables us to highlight our achievements. In 1973 we moved the international headquarters from New York to Jerusalem and built a magnificent cultural/educational centre there. We pioneered the development of a dynamic Reform/Progressive movement in Israel consisting of congregations, kibbutzim, an Israel religious action centre and educational, cultural and youth programmes. We became active leaders in the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization. We established synagogues and educational programmes in the Former Soviet Union, Europe, Latin America and the Far East, thus fulfilling our mandate to perpetuate Jewish life wherever Jews live. We formulated an ideology of Reform Zionism as an antidote to the contracting Jewish identity induced by contemporary diaspora conditions. Whereas we encourage aliyah for Jews who want to live in Israel, we are adamantly opposed to those who advocate aliyah as a positive response to anti-Semitism. Instead, we demand that European democracies guarantee equal rights and full security to Jews as well as to all other groups in society.