This chapter tracks the trajectory of labor rights discourse in the United States: from ‘citizenship’ in the post-Revolutionary period, to ‘humanitarianism’ in the period of early industrialized, to ‘class struggle’ in the Guild Age, to ‘public benefit’, the language of institutional economics in the Progressive Period. The discourse of ‘human rights’, which resonates sympathetically with the early reformist efforts to extend political rights into the workplace, lacks any contemporary traction. That manner of conceptualisation was eclipsed and then foreclosed by economic reasoning, increasingly neo-liberal. This chapter suggests that that discourse might possibly be able to be resorted to afresh and with practical effect, but only by exacting attention to its precise grounding and only by parsimonious care in application.
Guy Mundlak and Matthew W. Finkin
Edited by Matthew W. Finkin and Guy Mundlak
Economic pressure and corporate policies, both transnational and domestic, have placed labor law under severe stress. National responses are so deeply embedded in institutions reflecting local traditions that meaningful comparison is daunting. This book assembles a team of experts from many countries, drawing on a rich variety of comparative methods to capture changes in different countries and regions, emerging trends and national divergences.