New paper: The value of industrial relations research(ers): Activism inside and outside the UK Academy

New paper:

Based on an in-depth study of the lived experiences of industrial relations (IR) researchers in the United Kingdom, we demonstrate that IR has survived and thrived as a result of activism both inside and outside the academy. By adapting teaching and research to reflect the contemporary problems for labor, appropriating the study of human resource management, and creating synergies between service, teaching and learning, and both pure and applied research, the field of IR has experienced renewed intellectual vitality. The activism of IR academics in the United Kingdom signifies a promising future and an experience that IR research(ers) elsewhere can draw on.

CfP: Class Conflict and Institutional Change: Otto Kahn-Freund (1900-1979) and the Invention of Labour Law

Conference theme

Employing the lens of the life and work of Otto Kahn-Freund (1900–1979), we investigate the invention of labor law as a distinct field of legal doctrine and scholarship. Invention and reinvention are understood here to be ongoing political and scholarly processes, involving the defense of existing institutions and the development of new ones. We consider developments across the twentieth century, from the end of the first world war to the struggle over the second postwar settlement in the 1970s and thereafter. Following Kahn-Freund, we conceive of labor law scholarship as an interdisciplinary endeavor, combining insights from political economy, sociology of law, and empirically-oriented industrial relations. As such, our investigation allows us to address two questions: How was legal scholarship on the changing conflict between capital and labor related to contemporary developments in the social sciences, and what can we learn from this today?

We invite paper proposals which address the conference theme.  In particular, authors may wish to address the following:

  • The relations and interactions of labor law scholars and trade unionists in the Weimar Republic
  • The reception of Karl Marx and Max Weber in Weimar labor law scholarship and, especially, the work of Otto Kahn-Freund
  • Labor law and the state under capitalism: from Heller and Neumann to Laski and Miliband
  • Labor law and corporatism: the legal empowerment and control of trade unions through the institutionalization of trade union rights; delegated rights and imposed restriction; Keynes to Marshall to Donovan – Keynesian full employment – incomes policy in the 1970s and its failure
  • Labor law and comparative political economy: the origins and significance of commonality and difference.



The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) is located in Cologne, Germany. It is one of the largest social science research institutions in Germany, regarded internationally as one of the top research institutes in the social sciences. Cologne has its own airport and can be easily reached by train from Frankfurt International Airport, Düsseldorf airport, and other locations throughout mainland Europe.


Confirmed speakers

  • Zoe Adams, University of Cambridge
  • Ruth Dukes, University of Glasgow
  • Richard Hyman, London School of Economics
  • Agustín José Menéndez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Brishen Rogers, Georgetown University
  • William Scheuerman, Indiana University
  • Wolfgang Streeck, MPIfG
  • Rebecca Zahn, University of Strathclyde



Scholars who are interested in presenting papers at the conference are invited to submit an abstract of up to 500 words. Please include a title, your name and affiliation, and contact information.

Abstracts should be sent to Ruth Dukes by April 30, 2024. Please copy the following text into the title of the email: Class Conflict and Institutional Change Paper Proposal. Decisions on the acceptance of paper proposals will be communicated by May 31, 2024.


Logistics and key dates

We are grateful for the financial and administrative support provided by the MPIfG. Thanks to that support, no fee will be charged for attendance at the conference, but participants may be asked to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Information about recommended hotels will be provided at a later date.

  • April 30, 2024: Last day to submit paper proposals
  • May 31, 2024: Decisions on acceptance of paper proposals
  • November 13–15, 2024: Conference in Cologne

Any questions can be addressed to Ruth Dukes.

Job opportunity at Monash University: Professor and Head of Department

The Department of Management at Monash Business School is looking to appoint an outstanding academic to join our high-performing team. This will be a key leadership role in the Faculty’s research performance, income generation, and industry engagement agenda, ensuring the continual growth and diversification of the School. As Professor and Head of Department, you will play a key part in shaping the future of the Department of Management, providing strong and effective leadership for the expansion of the School’s research strategy and PhD program. The Department has a strong record of research in industrial relations and other fields.

Please share with any potential candidates and see the position description  Professor and Head, Department of Management

Two funded PhD opportunities in the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow to start September 2024.

Project 1: Exploring LGBT+ Networks as a Catalyst for Employee Voice and Intersectional Representation in the Workplace

This project explores the role of LGBT+ Networks as a crucial voice mechanism for LGBT+ employees in the workplace.

Project 2: The unheard voices of parcel delivery workers

This project aims to advance understanding of the contemporary lives of parcel delivery workers.

Please share with potential  candidates.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday 3 April 2024. Potential applicants are welcome to get in touch with the supervisory teams in advance of the application deadline.

The past in the present: Reflections on coal mining and the miners’ strike 1984–85

2 March 2024


Bute Building, Cardiff University

Next March the 40th anniversary of the coal miners’ strike will be marked with a conference organised by the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD).

The conference will begin with a showing of the film “Breaking Point” made and introduced by the acclaimed Swedish director Kjell-Ake Andersson. The film was made in Oakdale in February 1985 as the strike was beginning to break and focuses on ways in which solidarity is maintained, the views of the Lodge officials and the activities of the women’s support group.

There will be two plenary sessions and a series of eight panel meetings. The plenaries focus on ‘Women, place and community in the strike and today’ and ‘The End of Coal – Contours of a Decarbonised Economy’. The panel discussions will examine the strike in a historical context and consider issues of public ownership, trade union organisation and strike strategy, building solidarity, the role of the state and the media in industrial relations, memories of the strike, the changing class structure and the distinctiveness of the coalfields.

The conference will feature banners from NUM lodges around the South Wales coalfield and photographic representation of coal mining and the strike.

The conference features a stellar cast of speakers from both the academy and those directly involved in the unions both in 1984 and today.

If you have any queries please email: or telephone: 029 2087 5260.

There is no charge for admission. To register, go to:

The past in the present: Reflections on coal mining and the miners’ strike 1984-85

The Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI) jobs

The Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI) is seeking to appoint four new posts – 2 Lecturers in Digital Futures, 1 Senior Lecture/Associate Professor in Digital Futures and AI, and 1 Professor in Digital Futures. These are fantastic posts centred around interdisciplinary and partnership collaboration and will be based in Schools/Departments across the social sciences, arts and humanities. (Please see adverts for research areas we are particularly interested in) These posts all close 4th Feb 2024.

Mick Lynch biography book launch, Leeds, 6 February 2024

The first launch event for the new book, ‘Mick Lynch: The Making of a Working-Class Hero’ ( by Gregor Gall is at the University of Leeds on the evening of Tuesday 6 February.

You can sign up here to come along to hear the talk and debate the issues with free food and refreshments  by following the link from here: 

The SkillScale Project: The Growing Premium of AI Skill

Date and Time: Wednesday 14 February 2024, 13:00 – 14:30

Speaker: Fabian Stephany, Assistant Professor in AI & Work, Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford

Title: The SkillScale Project: The Growing Premium of AI Skills 

Location: The seminar will be hybrid (In-person at WBS Teaching Centre, room M4 and Online via Zoom). Please email Louise Cullen ( if you are attending in-person (for security purposes and entry in the WBS building).



Prison Governor’s Journal (PGJ) by Brendan O’Friel

Prison Governor’s Journal (PGJ) by Brendan O’Friel centres on the chronic crisis in the Prison Service in England and Wales since 1946. PGJ covers different aspects of the crisis; much is around staff and difficult industrial relations. A critical issue was whether industrial action was legal – PGJ itemises the way politicians and senior leaders avoided the issue for many years. As a founding member of the Prison Governor’s Association in 1986, the author explains the setting up of a new union including the problems encountered.
PGJ can be obtained via

The 2023 issue of Historical Studies in Industrial Relations

The 2023 issue of Historical Studies in Industrial Relations will be published soon, first on the journal’s website, followed by the print version. Liverpool University Press restricts access to the PDFs, which makes the print version attractive, especially as the price is low for a book-length journal of some 120,000 words.