GIR Seminar Series 2023 | Sticky Institutions or Private Convergence? Mapping the Role of Immigration in Neo-liberal Industrial Relations and Employment Systems | Anna Boucher
Government & International Relations Seminar Series:
Sticky Institutions or Private Convergence? Mapping the Role of Immigration in Neo-liberal Industrial Relations and Employment Systems
Presenter: A/Professor Anna Boucher, University of Sydney
Hybrid: RD Watt seminar room (A04, 203) and Zoom
Within the fields of comparative political economy and industrial relations, a common position is that states are converging towards a “private ordering” of governance (Colvin and Darbishire 2013). This governance model is said to be marked by enterprise level negotiation, growing employer discretion, minimal workplace standards setting through statute or negotiation and declining trade union density. These trends are said to operate irrespective of the prevailing left-right ideology of governments. Others have countered that institutional resilience remains in political economic structures that govern industrial relations and employment systems (e.g. Wright et al 2017; Bamber et al 2016; Doellgast et al, 2021), suggesting at path dependency. This paper contributes to this debate, demonstrating through a unique dataset of 907 employment law cases across four most similar neo-liberal countries, not only enduring variation, but also the centrality of immigrants in this regard. Further, the paper argues that labour laws as opposed to only the systems-level institutions, must be considered.
Associate Professor Anna Boucher is a comparative public policy scholar and Chair of the Discipline of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She is the author of three books with university presses, the most recent of which is Patterns of Exploitation (Oxford University Press, 2023). In addition, she is a frequent advisor to domestic and international government and, on weekends in her “spare time”, a practising employment and anti-discrimination law solicitor.