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Labour Law in an Era of GlobalizationTransformative Practices and Possibilities$
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Joanne Conaghan, Richard Michael Fischl, and Karl Klare

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271818.001.0001

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Beyond Labour Law’s Parochialism: A Re-envisioning of the Discourse of Redistribution

Beyond Labour Law’s Parochialism: A Re-envisioning of the Discourse of Redistribution

(p.93) 5 Beyond Labour Law’s Parochialism: A Re-envisioning of the Discourse of Redistribution
Labour Law in an Era of Globalization

Lucy A. Williams

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how the received wisdom within disciplinary boundaries between labour law, welfare law, and immigration law, as well as most progressive critiques of those doctrines and disciplines, unwittingly reflect and reinforce discourses which legitimate the economic status quo, including the legal and institutional structures that create and sustain poverty. It seeks to draw threads between fields of inquiry and practice that progressives, especially labour and welfare lawyers, must understand as intimately linked. It argues that any progressive transformation of labour law requires intense engagement with welfare law. With notable exceptions, labour law still largely situates questions of power and income distribution within the framework of labour markets. Its perspective on work remains limited to wage labour. And it still privileges collective bargaining by unions within a nation-state as the primary site of progressive initiatives for economic and social redistribution.

Keywords:   left labour, welfare law, immigration law, poverty, international economic law

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