The Idea of the Idea of Labour Law: A Parable
THE IDEA OF LABOUR LAW, Langille, Davidov, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011
12 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 15, 2011
In times and places when labor law functions as an important social institution, participants in the system often hold conflicting and overlapping conceptions of its purpose (e.g. wealth redistribution, democracy, conflict resolution) without apparent dissonance or dysfunction. Paradoxically, as labor law declines in social importance, academics assert increasingly bizarre and untethered concepts of its basic purpose (e.g. Kantian ethics, lowered transaction costs, solving collective action problems). These concepts reflect the need of teachers of labor law to justify their choice of subject and place in the academy as the social importance of their institution declines. Soon, however, labor law, like securities or banking regulation, will be understood as orderly procedures by which specialists accomplish technical ends, without any expectation that the field will inspire politically or morally.
Keywords: labor law, comparative labor law
JEL Classification: K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation