Democratisation of the Economy

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Richard Hyman


The paper is focused on the issue of economic democracy. Building on experiences of Germany with employee participation, and, in particular, the institution of co-determination (Mitbestimmung), the author argues that more democratic voice is neces- sary in modern economy to restore balance between the needs of the society as a whole and demands of the market. In course of the paper, the author examines four stages of democratisation, that is, first, the conquest of political democracy through winning of basic freedoms, second, broadening the scope of freedoms with incorporation of such rights as union representation, collective bargaining, and set of principles constituting 'welfare capitalism', third, struggle for industrial democracy, and, finally, reaching an even more advanced state of economic democracy. Next, the author's attentions shifts to the phenomenon of the 'cancer stage of capitalism', at which the foundations of the 'post- war compromise' between capital and labour have been destroyed and markets have been getting increasingly 'disembedded'. In the end, the prospects for overturning the current trend towards building an 'economic dictatorship' are discussed with particular attention given to trade unions, and their potential role in the process.

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How to Cite
Hyman, R. (2013). Democratisation of the Economy. Warsaw Forum of Economic Sociology, 4(7), 59-74. Retrieved from


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