Upcoming and Previous BUIRA Conferences
Call for papers
BUIRA turning 70 presents a good opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of industrial relations. Despite facing recent challenges, the field of industrial relations continues to be a vital topic of academic and practitioner enquiry. Issues that have long been central within the study of industrial relations, such as pay, collective bargaining, rights at work, employee representation, national and transnational forms of regulation, health and safety, job (in)security, precarity, and workplace conflict are highly prominent within many current political and academic debates. Understanding the politics of work, grounded in a critical social science tradition, is crucial for academics and policy makers alike.
IR continues to face a tough institutional environment. In the university, ‘HRM’ and ‘people and work’ has overtaken ‘industrial relations’ in the nomenclature of courses and modules. Within organisations and workplaces, trade unions continue to struggle to maintain a presence and voice for workers. While many university departments may nevertheless offer critical perspectives on work and employment, there is concern that the way ‘HRM’ is taught in some business schools may lack a sufficient diversity of perspectives and critical engagement with hegemonic neoliberalism. This in turn could lead to a potential ‘immiseration’ of the subject matter, and an inability to prevent or address trends such as the spread of precarious work, and the growing problem of in-work poverty (Dundon and Rafferty, 2018). At the same time, IR scholarship is often accused of being theoretically weak, suffering from a descriptive, and institutional bias, i.e. focusing on the dwindling institutions of trade unions and collective bargaining (Kelly, 1998).
Where are we now? How have we got here, and what should the future of the field look like? Reflecting on historical developments in industrial relations is crucial in order to ground and contextualise current developments in the world of work. History matters in helping us to understand the changing nature of industrial relations, and yet is often overlooked in modern accounts of work relations. It is also important to reflect on pressing current issues such as the impact of austerity and the crisis in an increasingly financialised world. What have been their consequences for public sector industrial relations? What is the impact of patterns of precarious work and non-standard employment relationships on the changing nature of work and employment, skills and the quality of work? Across all of these questions, issues of social class, equality and diversity remain more relevant than ever before. Looking to the future, one key question concerns the extent to which unions can play an active role with social movements to tackle climate breakdown.
We welcome empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers that concern any area of industrial relations, or fields cognate to industrial relations. We would particularly appreciate submissions from early career researchers and doctoral students. Papers concerning topics under the following headings will be particularly welcome:
Abstracts of papers should be submitted here:
Abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words in length and cover the following headings:
Deadline for submission of abstracts: Monday, 13th January 2020
All abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members.
Dundon T and Rafferty A (2018) The (potential) demise of HRM? Human Resource Management Journal 28(3): 377– 391.
Kelly J (1998) Rethinking Industrial Relations: Mobilisation, Collectivism and Long Waves. London: Routledge
30th June to 2nd July 2020
Call for Papers is Closed. Decisions will be communicated in early March.
The 2019 BUIRA Conference will take place at Newcastle University Business School, 5 Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK from 1st-3rd July 2019.
Members may be interested to note that the 2019 EGOS Colloquium will take place in Edinburgh 4th - 6th July 2019 (90 minutes by train from Newcastle) should they wish to attend both. Newcastle University Business School is located in the city centre directly opposite St James Park football stadium, and is within walking distance of Newcastle Central Station (10 mins by foot). The nearest metro station is St James (2 minutes by foot); Haymarket and Monument are also in walking distance (10 mins). Please note the conference is at Newcastle University Business School and not Newcastle Business School (which is somewhere else). You can book your menu choices here. For information on accommodation in Newcastle please see the official accommodation page.
BUIRA Conference 2019
Uncertain Futures/Fractured Worlds:
The future of employment regulation and rights after Brexit.
Newcastle University Business School, 1-3 July 2019
Call for papers now open
As the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union occurs only months prior to our conference next year, a major question we need to discuss will be around the uncertain future of employment legislation and regulation post Brexit.
A substantial amount of UK employment legislation is grounded in EU law. Does this mean that the withdrawal from the EU will mean UK employment rights currently guaranteed by EU law would no longer be so guaranteed? Theresa May had confirmed that workers’ existing legal rights will be guaranteed during her period in office – but her position has looked untenable for some time now, even more so recently. A post-Brexit government could seek to amend or remove any of these. Of course, what would be amended or removed is a much more open question, since it is affected by the political ideology of a future Government. We are fully aware of previous Conservative administrations’ long-standing opposition to many EU social rights.
What then, could be the effect on individuals who rely directly on EU law (i.e. the right to equal pay, agency workers, working time rights)?
Empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers are all welcome. We would particularly appreciate submissions from early career researchers and doctoral students. Papers concerning topics under the following headings will be particularly welcome:
Abstracts of papers should be submitted via https://www.buira.org/admin/submissions/create
Deadline for submission of abstracts: Monday, 14th January 2019.
Abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members.
1st July to 1st July 2019
BUIRA Conference 2018: The return of politics to employment relations, Middlesex University.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
Please select your meal choices for the Conference Gala Dinner https://www.eventbrite.com/e/buira-conference-gala-dinner-tickets-46762782742
27th June to 29th June 2018
5th BUIRA PhD Symposium: Call for Papers
The British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) invites you to take part in the 2017 BUIRA PhD Symposium, to be held at Cardiff University from Thursday the 30th of November to Friday the 1st of December.
This year’s Symposium invites PhD students at any stage of their research to deliver a talk to their fellow delegates. The event provides an opportunity to deliver an academic presentation in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere to a smaller audience than the average conference, making it a particularly valuable occasion for earlier year PhD researchers to gain valuable experience presenting, and to receive constructive feedback from fellow PhD students and senior academics.
Empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers are all welcome. The frontiers of industrial relations as a field of study continue to expand, providing crucial insights into work, employment, and employment relations in twenty-first century societies, and we look forward to receiving submissions that reflect this. If you do wish to present, please submit an abstract of up to 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday the 20th of October.
We look forward to seeing you in Cardiff!
BUIRA PhD Network Facilitators
30th November to 1st December 2017
28th - 30th June 2017
The theme of BUIRA 2017 is the Changing Face of Industrial Relations: New Borders, New Frontiers. The conference will take place a little over a year after a referendum which resulted in a narrow vote in favour of the UK leaving the European Union (EU). Therefore it will provide an ideal opportunity for participants not only to explore and discuss the future of industrial relations in the UK outside of the EU, but also to consider the portents for industrial relations in Europe and around the world in general. New borders may be springing up, and existing borders hardening, but the frontiers of industrial relations continue to be pushed back, and extended, in some notable ways.
28th June to 30th June 2017