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Heroic Defeats


  • 6 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • Page extent: 216 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.32 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 331.25
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: HD5708.5 .G65 1997
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Downsizing of organizations--Case studies
    • Labor unions--Case studies
    • Labor disputes--Case studies

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521484329 | ISBN-10: 0521484324)

Heroic Defeats is a comparative investigation of how unions and firms interact when economic circumstances require substantial job loss. Using simple game theory to generate testable propositions about when these situations will result in industrial conflict, Professor Golden illustrates the theory in a range of situations between 1950 and 1985 in Japan, Italy, and Britain. Additionally, the author shows how the theory explains why strikes over job loss almost never occur in postwar unionised firms in the United States. With its blend of rational choice and comparative politics, Heroic Defeats is the first systematic attempt to account for industrial conflict or its absence in situations of mass job loss. This book should be of interest to political scientists, sociologists, economists, and students of labour and industrial relations, as well as specialists in European and Japanese history.

• Compares labour politics in Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States • Applies game theory to comparative politics • Explains why unions do or do not strike in situations of downsizing


1. The puzzle of union responses to workforce reductions; 2. Games analyzing job loss; 3. Job loss in the Italian and British automobile industries; 4. Triggers of industrial action; 5. Pit closures in the Japanese and British mining industries; 6. Seeking allies: how other actors affect interactions over job loss; 7. Conclusions.


' … a well written and structured and closely argued book containing detailed analysis in a readable format. Furthermore, such excellent use of secondary analysis shows what can be done with such data and methodology. In short, this book contains useful and interesting information on important industries … I thoroughly recommend it be read, put in libraries and highlighted on students reading lists'. Labour History Reviews

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