Thursday, 17 May 2012

Using equality to challenge austerity: new actors, old problems

an article by Hazel Conley (Queen Mary University of London) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 26 Number 3 (April 2012)


This article critically examines the potential for ‘new actors’ in industrial relations to use developments in equality law to challenge government economic policy.

The author draws on documentary analysis of the Fawcett Society’s attempt to gain a judicial review of the 2010 emergency budget alongside legal theory in relation to reflexive regulation and literature that examines ‘new actors’ in industrial relations.

The aim is to stimulate debate on the role of the state and social movements in pursuing gender equality and how the latter might compete with or complement the role of trade unions. The concluding argument is that, while reflexive legislation provides opportunities for social movements to complement trade union activity, the role of the state remains contradictory, ultimately thwarting legal enforcement of equality when its economic authority and the interests of capital are threatened.

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