Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Labour law after labour

Document type Book chapter
Editor Langille, Brian
Author Arthurs, Harry
Editor Davidov, Guy
Book None
Publisher Oxford University Press; Oxford
Date 2013
ISBN 978-0-19-966945-5
Pages 13-29


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. -- From editors' introduction