Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow: The ‘thick and thin’ of comparative (statactivist) research with a European trade union federation

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Abstract

The greater insight and deeper understanding generated by slow comparative international research is beyond doubt. However, there are times when researchers need to ‘quicken up’, most notably when engaged in ‘real-time’ social science that is directly responsive to policy initiatives by the (supranational) state and/or new business strategies and employment practices developed by (multi-national) employers. This is a particular challenge for scholars working with European trade union federations, especially when they are drawn into political campaigns and/or European policy debates. Such engagement often calls for a (quick) step from slow (typically qualitative) to fast (predominantly quantitative) research, using statistics for activism in order to build evidence for representation that can pass the test of science as well as the test of action. The evidence is necessarily ‘thin’ but nonetheless sufficient, on occasion, to warrant collective action.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Industrial Relations
Early online date27 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Comparative industrial relations
  • statactivism
  • evidence for representation
  • European trade union federations

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