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The Idea of Labour Law$
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Guy Davidov and Brian Langille

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693610

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693610.001.0001

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Labour Law After Labour

Labour Law After Labour

(p.13) 1 Labour Law After Labour
The Idea of Labour Law

Harry Arthurs

Oxford University Press

Considerable evidence points to the diminished significance of ‘labour’ as an industrial and political movement, as a sociological descriptor, and as a distinct field of public policy. This prompts the question: what should labour law be for ‘after labour’? The question is especially timely in the context of what Daniel Rogers has called ‘the intellectual economy of catastrophe’. This Chapter explores three possible responses: that labour law should be viewed as a sub-field of constitutional and human rights law; that it should integrate workers into the structures of capitalism to ensure that they contribute to and benefit from its successes; and that it should maintain its historic function of mobilizing workers to defend their rights and interests, but should also encourage cooperation between workers’ organizations and other social movements.

Keywords:   labour, class, collective bargaining, social democracy, capitalism, social movements, human rights, constitutionalism

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