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The state and the regulation of work and employment: theoretical contributions, forgotten lessons and new forms of engagement
University of Manchester, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7090-9007
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9902-8182
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Human Resource Management, ISSN 0958-5192, E-ISSN 1466-4399, Vol. 28, no 21, p. 2983-3002Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Within the work and employment literature there has been a tendency to conflate the concept of regulation with the legislative role of the state and the enforcement of rules through various state agencies. Yet there has been limited engagement with the question of the state and its role in more abstract terms. There has been a historic tendency to view the state as a coherent, unitary actor - a tendency repeated by various theoretical perspectives. More recently, work and employment debates on regulation have too often reduced the question of the state to a one dimensional focus on its various functions: the state as legislator; as employer; or in terms of its coercive apparatus. There has been relatively limited engagement with the role of the state in more conceptual terms. Drawing on contributions from adjacent disciplines, the paper argues that the role of the state needs to be addressed at various levels of abstraction - an approach that has been increasingly overlooked in work and employment debates. Understanding the role of the state and its regulatory function requires a nuanced analysis of the various spaces and actors involved the regulatory process. In turn, such analysis needs to be located in terms of broader socio-economic configurations so as to avoid a narrow focus on institutionalism, and a piecemeal, fragmented view of the state. While the paper draws primarily on the UK for illustration, the intention is that the argument has theoretical generalisability beyond this context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017. Vol. 28, no 21, p. 2983-3002
Keywords [en]
State, regulation, work, employment, HRM, employment relations
National Category
Work Sciences Political Science
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66191DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2017.1363796ISI: 000423300500008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66191DiVA, id: diva2:1181688
Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-06-21Bibliographically approved

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The full text will be freely available from 2019-02-01 14:04
Available from 2019-02-01 14:04

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MacKenzie, Robert

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