Economic and Social Regulation of Labour

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course provides a conceptual and analytical framework for understanding the main trends and problems affecting the regulation of labour in a context of intensified economic internationalisation. The course is divided in three parts: the first introduces the basic concepts for the analysis of employment relations and their regulation (the theory and context of employment relations; the actors; the way in which they interact and the outcomes they produce); the second part introduces some key issues currently debated in employment relations research (the problem of global labour governance and the emergence of a new field of labour regulation at the international level, the relationship between labour market institutions, firms' behaviour and inequality, the digitalisation of work and its impact on employment relations and their regulation); the third part addresses the impact of labour market institutions on economic performance, especially in the framework of the EU and the EMU and with particular attention to the shift from a Keynesian to a monetarist macro-economic regime.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will acquire knowledge and develop in-depth understanding of the systems of employment relations, the challenges they are exposed to and their current transformations, as well as the effects of these changes on patterns of labour market inequalities and economic performance.
Students will learn how to critically apply such knowledge to the analysis of recent developments in labour and employment relations in Europe, but attention will be paid also to such countries as the US, Japan and Australia.
Students will acquire the ability to use the specific terminology of employment relations research and to critically examine employment relations issues.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second trimester
Course syllabus
The first two parts of the course (40 hours) will be taught by Lisa Dorigatti. Topics will include:
1. The theory and context of employment relations
2. The actors in employment relations
3. Interactions and outcomes in employment relations
4. Globalization and the regulation of the employment relations
5. Employment relations institutions and inequality
6. Digitalization and employment relations

The third part of the course (20 hours) will be taught by Lorenzo Bordogna. Topics will include:
1. Labour market institutions and economic performance
2. The regulation of labour from a Keynesian to a monetarist macro-economic regime: the case of the European Monetary Union and the EU enlargement
3. The economic crisis of 2008 and its implications for the regulation of labour in the EU (with special reference to austerity policies and employment relations in the public services)
4. Regulating labour at company and workplace level: policy options and their implications
Prerequisites for admission
No preliminary competences are required
Teaching methods
Lectures and discussions in class on the proposed texts
Teaching Resources
Part I and II: Reading List
- Baccaro, L., Howell, C. (2011). A Common Neoliberal Trajectory. The Transformation of Industrial Relations in Advanced Capitalism. Politics & Society. 39(4): 521-563.
- Blyton, P. and Turnbull, P. (2004), The Dynamics of Employee Relations. New York: Plagrave McMillan. Chapters 1 and 2
- Bordogna, L., Cella, G.P. (1999). Admission, exclusion, correction: the changing role of the state in industrial relations. Transfer - European Review of labur and Research. 5(1-2): 14-33.
- Colling, T. and Terry, M. (2010). Industrial Relations. Theory and Practice. Chichester: Wiley. Chapter 4.
- Degryse, C. (2017). Shaping the world of work in the digital economy. ETUI: Bruxelles.
- Hassel, A. (2008). The Evolution of a Global Labor Governance Regime. Governance. 21(2): 231-251.
- Hyman, R. (1997). Trade unions and interest representation in the context of globalisation, in Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research. 3(3): 515-533.
- Ibsen, C.L. and Tapia, M. (2017), Trade union revitalisation: Where are we now? Where to next?, Journal of Industrial Relations. 59(2): 170-191.
- Marginson, P. (2016). Governing work and employment relations in an internationalised economy: The institutional challenge. ILR Review. 69(5): 1033-1055.
- Mayer, F., Gereffi, G. (2010). Regulation and Economic Globalization: Prospects and Limits of Private Governance. Business and Politics. 12(3): 1-25.
- Pedersini, R. (2014). European industrial relations between old and new trends. Stato e Mercato. 102: 341-368.
- Pulignano, V. (2017). Articulation within (and across) transnational workplaces and the role of European Works Councils. European Journal of Industrial Relations 23(3): 261-276.
- Riisgaard, L. (2005). International Framework Agreements: A New Model for Securing Workers Rights? Industrial Relations 44(4): 707-737.
- Schnabel, C. (2013). Union membership and density: Some (not so) stylized facts and challenges. European Journal of Industrial Relations. 19(3): 255-272.
- Thelen, K. (2012). Varieties of Capitalism: Trajectories of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity. Annual Review of Political Science. 15: 137-159.
- Vaughan-Whitehead, D. (2018). Reducing inequalities in Europe: How industrial relations and labour policies can close the gap. Geneva: ILO. Chapter 1.
- Visser, J. (2016). What happened to collective bargaining during the Great Recession? IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 5,

Students who would like to have a general reference book may consider the two following texts:
Sisson, K. (2010). Employment relations matters [Electronic version], Warwick, UK: University of Warwick, available from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site:…
Bordogna, L., Pedersini, R. (2019). Relazioni industriali. L'esperienza italiana nel contesto internazionale, Bologna: Il Mulino.

Part III: Reading list
Olson M. (1965). The logic of collective action, Cambridge: Harvard Un. Press, ch. 1.
Olson M. (1982). The Rise and Decline of Nations, New Haven: Yale Un. Press, ch. 2.
Calmfors L., Driffill J. (1988). Bargaining structure, corporatism and economic performance. Economic Policy. 14-47.
Hall P., Soskice D. (eds) (2001). Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Introduction, pp. 1-68.
Streeck W. (1999). Competitive Solidarity: Rethinking the 'European Social Model, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Working Papers No. 8.
Bordogna L., Pedersini R. (2015). What Kind of Europeanization? How EMU is Changing National Industrial Relations in Europe. Giornale di diritto del lavoro e di relazioni industriali. XXXVII(2): 183-230.
Bach S., Bordogna L. (2013). Reframing public service employment relations: The impact of economic crisis and the new EU economic governance. European Journal of Industrial Relations. 19(4): 279-294.
Guest D., Conway N. (1999). Peering into the Black Hole: The downside of New Employment Relations in the UK. British Journal of Industrial Relations. 37(3): 367-389.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written test, 90 minutes long. For students attending the course, the exam will be based on the topics discussed during classes, and on materials presented by the teachers and made available to students.
The exam aims at assessing the acquired knowledge and the capacity of applying this knowledge to cases of social and economic regulation of labour (like incomes and concertation policies, the regulation of public service employment relations, etc.).
Lessons: 60 hours
Monday 2 September 15.30-17.30
Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e Politiche side Conservatorio second floor room 9
Wednesday 11.00-13.00. Meetings in person are suspended. Skype meetings can be organised via email.
Room 11, second floor (Conservatorio side)