Chapter

The Idea of the Idea of Labour Law: A Parable

Alan Hyde

in The Idea of Labour Law

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693610
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729744 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693610.003.0007
The Idea of the Idea of Labour Law: A Parable

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Academic conceptions of labour law become increasingly bizarre and elaborate as the practical importance, even existence, of labour law shrinks in advanced economies. These economies have entered a period with reduced rates of union representation, new unions, and use of public processes of dispute resolution. The United States actually had no lawful National Labour Relations Board for twenty-six months, though ill effects are hard to discern. Academics respond to these developments with increasingly theoretical accounts of the functions of labour law, largely by borrowing models from economics or other social science or philosophy. These models are ideological, that is, false pictures justifying a social practice. They exist independently of labour law as a behavioural phenomenon.

Keywords: labour law; National Labour Relations Board; ideology; dispute resolution

Chapter.  5281 words. 

Subjects: Employment and Labour Law

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