Extraterritoriality by Other Means: How Labor Law Sneaks Across Borders, Conquers Minds, and Controls Workplaces Abroad

28 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2010  

Harry W. Arthurs

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: July 19, 2010

Abstract

This Article challenges the state-centered description of labor law and impoverished view of extraterritoriality. It suggests that transnational flows of technology and capital, goods and services, and ideas and information have brought in their wake changes in political economy and social relations that have transformed regimes of public and workplace governance in all countries. It proposes that the extraterritoriality doctrine operates, if at all, only in the formal sense of not allowing one state to overtly project its law into the territory of another. But extraterritoriality does little to prevent the rules governing employment relations in one country from taking root elsewhere, from shaping foreign labor market norms, institutions, and practices, and from being reproduced, in their original or mutant forms, in foreign systems of labor law. The result is the extraterritorial projection “by other means” of labor law and policy - a form of extraterritoriality that has the potential to enhance as well as undermine labor standards in global enterprises.

Keywords: Labor Law, State Centered, Extraterritoriality, Technology, Political Economy, Employment Relation, Foreign Labor Market, Norms, International Economic Integration, Across Borders, Global Workplace, Transnational Corporation, Transnational Unions, Unions Alliance

JEL Classification: J49, J19, K31

Suggested Citation

Arthurs, Harry W., Extraterritoriality by Other Means: How Labor Law Sneaks Across Borders, Conquers Minds, and Controls Workplaces Abroad (July 19, 2010). Stanford Law & Policy Review, Forthcoming; Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 25/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1645248

Harry W. Arthurs (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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