Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Fading Corporatism

Fading Corporatism: Israel's Labor Law and Industrial Relations in Transition

Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press,
Pages: 344
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Fading Corporatism
    Book Description:

    Since the 1980s, industrial relations and labor law in Israel have rapidly changed from a European style of corporatism to a model of pluralism familiar to North America. The country's legal and industrial relations systems have become more decentralized, yet more intensively regulated; they are no longer centrally managed, but they do not fit the neoliberal model of a free market. In recent years, a dynamic system for voicing interests has evolved, granting more leeway to individuals, identity-based representation, and a flourishing civil society, but restraining effective collective representation.

    In Fading Corporatism, Guy Mundlak explains the changing nature of labor law and industrial relations in Israel and the seemingly paradoxical outcomes of transformation as played out in numerous spheres, including the law governing the recognition of trade unions and strikes; the emergence of a human rights regime; and the regulation of temporary work agencies, Palestinian workers from the occupied territories, and migrant workers. Placing the example of Israel in a conceptual framework that draws on the literature of corporatism, Mundlak offers a theoretical coupling of legal studies and industrial relations that will interest scholars and practitioners in both fields.

    Surveying legal developments from 1920 to the present, Fading Corporatism will also appeal to readers interested in the political, economic, and legal history of Israel. At the same time, Mundlak emphasizes the comparative implications of the Israeli case study. His account is particularly instructive for countries in which traditionally corporatist industrial and legal systems are experiencing similar pressures, such as the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6173-6
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Introduction: Labor Law in Transition—Between Law and Industrial Relations
    (pp. 1-10)

    Over the last decade Israeli labor law—and, more generally, social law—has changed dramatically. The changes are not easily viewed from the outside. The two laws governing collective labor relations—namely, the Collective Agreements Law (1957) and the Settlement of Industrial Disputes Law (1957)—have hardly been touched. A broad range of new laws has not seemed to alter the basic premises of Israeli labor law but has merely dealt with issues not touched upon in previous legislation, most notably in the area of antidiscrimination and equal opportunities. The case law, developed in a common-law fashion, draws on self-reference...

  6. Part I Corporatism

    • 1 Corporatism: Theory and Institutional Design
      (pp. 13-33)

      The term “corporatism,” or “neocorporatism,” appears in the writings of various disciplines.¹ It also seems to adopt various meanings with a core of shared meaning, although the various definitions may not be entirely congruent. Some definitions emphasize institutional factors such as centralized collective bargaining or high union density, while others emphasize governance based on social pacts. Some accounts of corporatism define it in a manner that is tailored to very particular systems, mostly those that prevailed in the Nordic countries. Such accounts emphasize the systemic logic of corporatism’s institutions and its comprehensive outreach into all spheres of governance. However, other...

    • 2 The Israeli Variant of Corporatism
      (pp. 34-58)

      The study of Israeli law and industrial relations, which is presented in detail in the following chapters, advances the proposition that law and industrial relations were situated in a corporatist equilibrium, which gradually disintegrated, giving way to an emerging pluralist equilibrium. Labor law initially was designed to uphold, stabilize, and entrench the corporatist regime that developed in Israel from the pre-statehood period until the 1980s. Later, when the corporatist system started to disintegrate, labor law had to be rewritten to construct a new industrial relations system. The many changes in labor law are therefore embedded in social and economic institutions....

  7. Part II Constructing Corporatist Labor Law, 1920–1987

    • [Part II Introduction]
      (pp. 59-60)

      On the basis of the questions presented at the end of the first chapter, part 2 describes the enabling legal conditions of the Israeli corporatist system and how they came about.

      It is difficult to establish the starting point for a study of corporatism and labor law in Israel. An evident starting point could be the foundation of the state in 1948. The theory of corporatism accentuates the role of the state in industrial relations, and the notion of state was too ambiguous and fragmented in the pre-statehood period of Israel for this concept to apply. At the same time,...

    • 3 Legislating for Corporatism, 1920–1968
      (pp. 61-88)

      This chapter focuses on the period of corporatist legislation in Israel. The discussion points out that while corporatism is based on autonomous norm making by the social partners with the state’s intervention (as a negotiating partner and not as a legislature), lawmaking need not necessarily be considered inimical to corporatism’s principle of autonomy. Legislative processes in the period described here evolved from within the corporatist industrial relations system, and law was viewed as a means to accommodate the system’s needs. In part 3 of the book, later legislative processes will be contrasted with those described in this chapter and shown...

    • 4 Adjudication in the Service of Corporatism, 1969–1987
      (pp. 89-110)

      In the first chapter I argued that the literature on corporatism in particular, and industrial relations in general, usually ignores the development of law, deeming the legal rule to be exogenous. Where there are exceptions, the study of legal developments is often focused on legislation. By contrast, adjudication is totally marginalized and receives hardly any attention. It may be hypothesized that this is a result of the assumption that judges are the civil servants of the legal system and that it is their role to implement the legal rule as developed by the legislature. In legal scholarship this view has...

  8. Part III Fading Corporatism

    • [Part III Introduction]
      (pp. 111-118)

      Nothing dramatic happened in 1987. No economic or political revolution took place in Israel. The changing nature of industrial relations and labor in Israel is not part of anything like the Soviet perestroika but has been an incremental, albeit rapid, process of disintegration of the old order. As noted in chapter 2, this process can be traced to the political elections in 1977, in which the political order was shocked by the overthrow of the Labor Party and first rise to power of the right-wing Likud Party. Because the political change occurred in periodical elections, however, it did not shake...

    • 5 The Changing Metafunction of Labor Law
      (pp. 119-152)

      Labor law’s metafunction determines which type of regulation prevails among competing state-level modes of regulation—market ordering (private contracts), state or transnational ordering (regulation), or autonomous lawmaking (most notably collective bargaining, but this can also include mandated employee participation schemes such as works councils; national, international, and sector-based codes of practice and conduct; and more). This function of law is not concerned with the determination of the end norms themselves but with the question of who determines the substantive norms that govern the employment relationship and how. This is the part of labor law that establishes the infrastructure for the...

    • 6 The Juridification of the Employment Relationship
      (pp. 153-187)

      The central characteristic of corporatist labor law was that it sought to develop regulation based on norms that do not directly rely on the state’s monopolistic power to regulate. Insofar as “law” is perceived narrowly—as the body of norms produced by the state’s agents—then corporatist law sought to minimize it. As demonstrated in the previous chapters, the state provided a minimal set of rules that prescribed the structure of collective bargaining and elevated the collectively bargained norm to a position as the primary source of norms governing the labor market. The substantive norms imposed on the labor market...

    • 7 The Changing Legal Construct of Dualism
      (pp. 188-224)

      While the traditional focus of labor law has been on the relationship between employers and their employees, or capital and labor, the particular characteristics of the labor market render the distributive aspects of work and benefits among the workforce equally important. Unlike capital investment in workplaces, which may be liquidated and converted to other forms of capital, the supply of labor is mainly dependent on the labor market, and the market’s limited opportunities and scarcity of resources place the workers in competition with one another. The third function of law is to govern the distribution of resources among the workers—...

  9. Part IV Corporatist Labor Law in Context

    • [Part IV Introduction]
      (pp. 225-226)

      Now that we have completed our journey through more than eighty years of labor law in Israel, it is time to return to the original questions posed at the end of the first chapter, namely:

      1. What are the legal enabling conditions of corporatism, and what are those of pluralism?

      2. How do these legal institutions come about and how do they interrelate with the industrial relations system?

      Chapter 8 summarizes the findings of the Israeli case study, describing the distinction between different types of labor law. This is where the study of Israel is particularly instructive, in that a far-reaching, yet...

    • 8 Corporatist and Pluralist Labor Laws
      (pp. 227-240)

      What makes labor law into “corporatist law” or “pluralist law”? As demonstrated in chapter 1, the contours of neocorporatism have been debated in the literature since the early 1970s. While there are disagreements regarding the exact meaning of corporatism, at its core corporatism is an institutional design that links centralized associations representing the interests of labor and capital with the decisional structure of the state. To identify corporatist or pluralist systems, various measures have been used in the literature. Among the common measures are union density, concentration, centralization of authority, level of bargaining, division of labor between the state and...

    • 9 The Rule and Role of Law in Industrial Relations
      (pp. 241-260)

      What makes labor law corporatist law or pluralist law? In chapter 8, the different objectives of the two types were outlined, and the corresponding legal institutions were demonstrated. However, are these enabling conditions of an industrial relations system (corporatist or pluralist) or the outcomes of the system? Is law necessary to create and construct industrial relations or merely its output?

      The literature that compares corporatism and pluralism, as well as related bodies of literature that distinguish between centrally managed economies and liberal market economies (Soskice 1999), repeatedly emphasizes that institutions matter. Among these institutions, legal institutions play an important role....

  10. References
    (pp. 261-276)
  11. Index
    (pp. 277-280)