Call for Papers: Democracy and the Workplace

Call for Papers:

This past year has seen a debate emerge in the United States about the propriety and limits of collective bargaining in the public sector. At the same time, around the world there has been an eruption of political protest that has taken various forms. There have been protests, and sometimes riots, by people who work or who are out of work in differing political systems, including the Arab Spring, riots in London, and other online and physical collective action. There is a connection between having voice at work and a voice in democracy.

Collective bargaining is one system for voice in the workplace. However, there are others, including employment dispute resolution systems using mediation and arbitration, human resource management practices at high performance workplaces, flatter management structures, work teams, and more. What is the appropriate role of employee voice at the workplace? How does voice at the workplace relate to democracy? What is its future? To what extent can appropriate harnessing of employee voice be used to prevent or resolve workplace conflict? More broadly, to what extent can we encourage greater productivity, creativity and morale by building a better workplace?

Our goal is to stimulate a broad ranging discussion on the issue of employee voice in both public and private sector union and nonunion workplaces both in the United States and in other national contexts. We welcome abstracts from participants in all academic disciplines who work on related issues, including but not limited to labor and employment law, human resource management, dispute resolution, dialogue and deliberation, and democracy.

We invite the submission of abstracts (maximum 250 words) for papers to be presented at the symposium. Possible outlets include the Nevada Law Journal, other academic journals, and/or an edited book or proceedings volume. Please include full contact information on your abstract and submit it as a Word document attachment in an email sent to The deadline for abstracts is Friday, September 30, 2011.

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