The Danish Model of Industrial Relations: Erosion or Renewal?
AbstractThe Danish model represents one of the most solidly-based industrial relation (IR) systems in Europe, and is today internationally regarded as an exemplar owing to its effective combination of flexibility and security in labour-market regulation. But in an increasingly globalized world even this model has come under pressure. The pressure comes from three different directions: (1) from EU regulation; (2) from the national political system; and, (3) from the parties at enterprise level. The organized or centralized decentralization of the collective bargaining system that was seen as the answer to the increased competitive pressure of internationalization would appear to have reached its limit and to have been replaced by a trend towards multi-level regulation. Whether this trend will lead to renewal or erosion of the Danish model will be revealed over the coming years. There are signs that indicate the model's continued robustness, but there are also signs of weakening. The outcome is not only of national interest, but also has international relevance, since Denmark can be seen as the IR model par excellence. As a critical case the development of the Danish model is an indicator of the traditional IR system's future prospects in general.