Reflexive Labour Law in the World Society

Reflexive Labour Law in the World Society

Ralf Rogowski

Reflexive Labour Law in the World Society investigates trends in labour and employment law from the perspective of modern social systems theory. It uses Niklas Luhmann’s theory of the world society and Gunther Teubner’s reflexive law concept for an analysis of modern employment law and industrial relations. Areas investigated include: reflexive employment protection; the reflexive regulation and deregulation of labour market policies and labour law; reflexivity in labour and employment conflict resolution; reflexive coordination and implementation of EU social and employment law; and reflexive global labour law.

Chapter 8: Reflexive coordination of European social and employment policies

Ralf Rogowski

Subjects: law - academic, european law, labour, employment law, law and society, social policy and sociology, labour policy


The law of the European Union and labour law have a chequered relationship. At the beginning of the process of European integration in the 1950s, it was decided that in order for a common market to be established it was not necessary to grant supranational bodies legislative powers in the area of labour law. The influential Ohlin Report stipulated that the common market did not presuppose a harmonised level of labour standards but would more or less automatically lead to convergence of national standards (Ohlin Report 1956). However, some provisions regarding social and employment policy were included in the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community of 1957, for example the equal pay clause and coordination of social security entitlements for migrant workers. These provisions constituted cornerstones for the gradual development of asocial dimension of European integration (see Barbier 2008; Barnard and Deakin 2012).

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