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globalization; labor; neo-liberalism


The UCLA comparative labor law project (1965-1978) exemplified and in some ways anticipated subsequent debates within comparative law circles in general, and amongst comparative labor scholars in particular. Both disciplines have been destabilized by the decentering of the state as a result of globalization and neo-liberalism and also as a result of developments in legal theory and methodology. The rebuilding of comparative labor law as a discipline depends on its ability to take these new developments into account. But paradoxically, to do so moves scholars farther and father away from "law" as it was traditionally understood, as well as from "labor" which is verging on anachronism as a sociological descriptor and political actor. The project of comparative labor law must become part of an intellectually ambitious and highly complex study of the changing political, economic, social, cultural and psychological terrain of work relations.