Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Alan Hyde (Rutgers-Newark) has just posted on SSRN his chapter The Idea of the Idea of Labour Law: A Parable, from the forthcoming The Idea of Labour Law, Langille, Davidov, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011. Here's the abstract:
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.