Rethinking Unions: A Virtual Edited Volume

In recent years, the United States has experienced a long-term decline in the membership and power of traditional unions and of the collective bargaining model that has been the cornerstone of their strategy for improving the lives of workers. While the faculty of the Labor Studies and Employment Relations (LSER) Department at Rutgers University explore, through their teaching, research and service, the shoring up of traditional unions and collective bargaining, they have also collectively produced the largest body of scholarship of alternative models of organizing and representing workers. This scholarship has appeared in a variety of journals and books. It has been pulled together for the first time here as an electronic publication.

Below is a selection of writings by LSER members with live links to several publications.


Bensman, David.  Misclassification: Workers in the Borderland

Cobble, Dorothy Sue. "Lost Ways of Unionism: Historical Perspectives on Reinventing the Labor Movement." Rekindling the Movement: Labor's Quest for Relevance in the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Lowell Turner, et al. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 2001.

Eaton, Adrienne E., and Paula B. Voos. "Wearing Two Hats: The Unionization of Public Sector Supervisors." Going Public: The Role of Labor-Management Relations in Delivering Quality Government Service. Ed. Joathan Brock and David B. Lipsky. Champaign, Ill.: Industrial Relations Research Association, 2003. 295–315.

Eaton, Adrienne E., and Paula B. Voos. "Managerial Unionism: Prospects and Forms." Labor Studies Journal 29.3 (2004): 25–56. Managerial Unionism: Prospects and Forms.

Fine, Janice. "Worker Centers:Organizing at the Edge of a Dream." New York Law School Review 50 (2005/2006): 417–48.

Fine, Janice. "Community Unions and the Revival of the American Labor Movement." Politics and Society 33.1 (2005): 153–99.

Heckscher, Charles. "Organizations, Networks and Movements." New York Law Review 50 (2005/2006): 313–33.

Heckscher, Charles. "Worker Ownership and Collaborative Production." Advances in Economic Analysis of Partcipatory and Labor-managed Firms, Vol 15. Takao Kato and Jamie Ortega, eds. Emerald Group Publishing Limited (2013).

Heckscher, Charles. "From Bureaucracy to Networks." Ch. 18 in Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment. Stephen Edgell, Heidi Gottfried, and Edward Granter (eds.) Sage, forthcoming (2015).

Heckscher, Charles. "Transient Solidarities: Commitment and Collective Action in Post-Industrial Societies." British Journal of Industrial Relations 52:4 (2014): 627-657.

Katz, Harry C., Rosemary Batt, and Jeffrey H. Keefe. "The Revitalization of the CWA: Integrating Collective Bargaining, Political Action, and Organizing." Industrial & Labor Relations Review 56.4 (2003): 573.

Keefe, Jeffrey H. "Public Sector Collective Bargaining and the Distortion of Democracy: Do Public Sector Unions Have "Too Much" Power?".Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, 1-23. 2013.

Keefe, Jeffrey H., Kochan, T. A., & Lewin, D. "The New Great Debate about Unionism and Collective Bargaining in U.S. State and Local Governments". ILRReview, 64. 2012.

Keefe, Jeffrey H. "Public Employee Compensation and the Efficacy of Privatization Alternatives in US State and Local Governements." British Journal of Industrial Relations, 50, 782-809.

Keefe, Jeffrey H. "Can Unions Be Transformational Agents in Public Sector Workplace Redesign?" Going Public : The Role of Labor-Management Relations in Delivering Quality Government Services Ed. Jonathan Brock and David B. Lipsky. Champaign, Ill.: Industrial Relations Research Association, 2003. 211.

Kolins Givan, Rebecca. "Why Teachers Unions Make Such Useful Scapegoats." New Labor Forum 2014. (Volume 23, Issue 1) 

Rubinstein, Saul A. "Unions as Value-Adding Networks: Possibilities for the Future of U.S. Unionism." Journal of Labor Research 22.3 (2001): 581–98.

Voos, Paula B., Eaton, A. E., & Rogers, S. E. "Effects of Unionization on Graduate Student Employees: Faculty--Student Relations, Academic Freedom, and Pay." ILRReview, 66. 2013.

Voos, Paula B. "IRRA Presidential Address." Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting, Industrial Relations Research Association. San Diego, CA, January 3–5, 2004.

- Copyright permissions obtained from ILR Review and Cornell Press by Constance Finlay, former SMLR librarian.