‘The end of ideology’ and ‘Farewell tot the trade unions’ are two themes popular in public opinion as well as among social scientists. In this book both topics are critically reviewed. Does ideology still mean anything to the European trade unions? Or have they lost all perspectives? The fist volume of the book contains country analyses of the long-term development of the trade union movement in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, with special reference to the ideological challenges they have faced The second volume is divided in three parts. Firstly several internationlly renowned specialists reflect on the historic meaning of ideology to the trade unions. The second part emphasizes the cultural identities of trade unions, which includes a critical reassessment of their attitudes towards women, immigrants, nationalism and international trade union co-operation. In the third part the significance of ideology for trade union participation and commitment is studied.