From the AGI Bookshelf: Holding the Shop Together

Alexander Privitera

AGI Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Alexander Privitera a Geoeconomics Non-Resident Senior Fellow at AGI. He is a columnist at BRINK news and professor at Marconi University. He was previously Senior Policy Advisor at the European Banking Federation and was the head of European affairs at Commerzbank AG. He focuses primarily on Germany’s European policies and their impact on relations between the United States and Europe. Previously, Mr. Privitera was the Washington-based correspondent for the leading German news channel, N24. As a journalist, over the past two decades he has been posted to Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, and Rome. Mr. Privitera was born in Rome, Italy, and holds a degree in Political Science (International Relations and Economics) from La Sapienza University in Rome.

We have recently added a new valuable study to our bookshelf: Holding the Shop Together (Cornell University Press, 2013) is a study on German industrial relations in the postwar era by Stephen Silvia, associate professor at American University and a former fellow here at the institute.

Silvia’s book explores the evolution of the particular way of managing industrial relations in Germany and stresses how important they are for understanding how the country’s largely consensus driven economy works. Silvia finds that, despite the notable decline of unions and employers’ associations in past decades, the framework for industrial relations has remained largely intact. Deep historical roots that even predate the Second World War help to explain the strength, but sometimes also some of the rigidities and thus vulnerability of the German model. To find out if Germany’s way of managing industrial relations are distinctly unique to that country or whether it could even become the blueprint for how other developed economies manage the relations between their employers and employees you need to read this book. It is a remarkable effort and will provide an illuminating explanation of why Germany has succeeded to ‘hold the shop together’ thus far.

Dr. Stephen Silvia is a Professor of International Economics at the American University School of International Service.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.