Conclusion: Varieties, State Traditions, and the Future of Employment Research
This chapter summarises the book’s main empirical findings and theoretical implications. A core finding is that how research on work and employment was embedded in the political culture of a specific country during the 19th century is fundamental to the understanding of longstanding cross-national differences of employment research. The formation of social sciences during the 19th century coincided with transformations of the nation states, which in turn depended on the new discursive understanding of state and society. It makes sense therefore that scientific areas such as Employment Relations, which were closely connected to the advent of market economies and political democracies, became strongly embedded in country-specific state traditions. These different political legacies have major implications for the future of the academic field of Employment Relations. This book advocates that the de-politicization of employment research, in particular in Anglophone countries, may be disadvantageous in the long run. Reclaiming a political, thus policy-oriented, notion of the study of work and employment may be a risky but potentially necessary strategy for the future of the field.
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