German codetermination without nationalization, and British nationalization without codetermination: retelling the story

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Codetermination – worker participation in management – forms part of the industrial relations traditions of a number of European countries. Among these, the German system of parity codetermination (paritätische Mitbestimmung) – the focus of this article – provides the greatest level of involvement for workers by allowing for equal representation of employees and management on the supervisory boards of companies in certain industries and above specific size thresholds. This model of codetermination was first introduced in the iron and steel industries by the British military command after the Second World War and is widely regarded in the German literature as a successful trade-union achievement and a vital element, even the most important ‘socio-political innovation’ of German post-war industrial democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalHistorical Studies in Industrial Relations
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • codetermination
  • nationalization
  • industrial democracy

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