Thursday, March 31, 2011

Labour law after labour?

Harry Arthurs has published an interesting paper addressing what might happen to labour law given the apparent decline of labour as a class. This paper is available for download here. There are no answers set out in Arthurs' paper but it provides a fascinating read about the implications of declining class consciousness for labour law.

Arthurs advances three potential visions for labour law, each integrating labour law into a larger project. One option is to link it to some sort of constitutionalized human rights project--a popular prescription among some academics (and unpopular among others!).

A second option is to examine human capital narratives to see if collaboration between workers and employers can provide a path forward. Given the basic conflicts embedded in capitalist employment relationships, this seems like a bit of a reach. The third option is to link labour law with some sort of broader social movement approach.

-- Bob Barnetson

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