Power relations in employment disputes

Rose, E. and Busby, N. (2017) Power relations in employment disputes. Journal of Law and Society, 44(4), pp. 674-701. (doi: 10.1111/jols.12062)

207723.pdf - Accepted Version



This article reconceptualizes the operation of power relations in employment disputes. We draw on Foucault's theory of neo‐liberal governance to inform our analysis of empirical data exploring how low‐income workers make decisions about whether to engage with the Employment Tribunal system. Particular focus is placed on the ways the state governs employment disputes to achieve ideologically driven objectives. We conclude: first, that power relations in employment disputes operate across a range of institutions and individuals, and that the state's role is powerful and ongoing; secondly, that power relations operate to shape not just the objective context that workers find themselves in when experiencing an employment dispute but also workers' subjective moral codes about appropriate courses of action to take; and thirdly, that despite the powerful influence of the state, workers continue to hold non‐economic values that guide their perception of the appropriate basis for relations between employers and workers.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Busby, Professor Nicole
Authors: Rose, E., and Busby, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Journal of Law and Society
ISSN (Online):1467-6478
Published Online:28 November 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Authors 2017
First Published:First published in Journal of Law and Society 44(4):674-701
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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