The Danish industrial relations model has attracted positive interest from abroad in recent years, particularly the form of flexicurity that has evolved. The flexicurity model has, on the one hand, enabled Denmark (even after the economic crisis) to keep unemployment levels remarkably low compared to other European countries. On the other hand, it has made it possible to sustain a relatively high level of welfare provision - again, compared to other European countries. This book is only to a limited extent about the question of flexicurity per se. Rather it is about the circumstances that have facilitated a peculiarly Danish combination of flexibility and security, circumstances that reflect a series of other special characteristics of the Danish labour market, specifically those associated with industrial relations. The title of the book - "Industrial Relations in Denmark: From conflict-based consensus to consensus-based conflict" - is designed to convey a number of points. Firstly, the book is rooted in the IR research tradition.
This tradition deals, in a theoretical and empirical manner, with the question of what characterises relations between employees and employers in modern society. In particular, it is interested in employment relationships and the institutional and organisational structures that surround the interrelationships between the individual employee and employer, e.g. in the form of trade unions, employers' federations, collective-bargaining agreements, etc. Secondly, the book is about Denmark. The analyses contained in it focus on industrial relations in Denmark, i.e. on the Danish labour market and on identifying trends in the Danish industrial relations system. However, this emphasis on the Danish perspective also indirectly highlights the fact that the book also serves as a useful comparative source. The analyses often focus on comparing Danish industrial relations with those of other countries. Thirdly, the subtitle, "From conflict-based consensus to consensus-based conflict", conveys one of the book's basic points, i.e. that the Danish IR system - or Danish model - has undergone a fundamental process of change in the last 20-30 years, despite the fact that, in a formal sense, actual changes to the institutional and organisational basis for regulating the labour market have been limited.
The research that forms the basis for the book was conducted at the Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen, which studies a wide range of labour-market and organizational subjects. The research and teaching community there served as a fruitful starting point for work on the book.