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We examine trends in union density and union influence in several Asian countries. While we find considerable variation in union density across the countries in our sample, all of the labour movements in these countries experienced membership decline in the 1990s. Asian countries also varied on our union influence measure, although as a group, their scores were much lower than those of Western nations. We examine the pattern of union growth, decline, and influence in each country within the differing institutional context of unionism, using a “logics of action” framework. Based on our examination of how these institutional contexts are changing, and what we know about the strategies of unions, we are not hopeful regarding the near term prospects for reversing union decline.


Suggested Citation
Kuruvilla, S., Das, S., Kwon, H., & Kwon, S. (2002). Trade union growth and decline in Asia.Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. Final paper published as Kuruvilla, S., Das, S., Kwon, H., & Kwon, S. (2002). Union growth, decline and revitalization in Asia. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 403, 431-463.