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CFP: Labor & the Law Workshop

May 24, 2024

The Labor and the Law Workshop, co-hosted by the Center for Political Economy at Columbia University, seeks contributions from junior researchers (PhD students and post-doctoral fellows) that address the labor movement’s relationship to the law. Both contemporary and historical approaches to the topic as well as qualitative and quantitative contributions are welcome. We are interested in contributions covering labor movements and legal systems around the world.

The workshop aims for in-depth presentation, discussion, and revision of papers. Through the interdisciplinary nature of the workshop, the organizer and the Columbia Center for Political Economy hope to further integrate different approaches to the study of labor relations as configured within, outside, and against the law. Veena Dubal of UC Irvine will give a keynote lecture.

Due to the growing emphasis on law and political economy as well as so-called ‘material constitutionalism,’ the workshop will provide a venue for engaging with new approaches to the study of labor and law and re-examine the law’s role in both entrenching and combatting inequality.

The organizers welcome abstracts across all humanities and social science disciplines as well as legal scholarship. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The Law as a Tool for Socio-Economic Emancipation
  • Labor Movements’ Legal Campaigns
  • Labor Law and Enforcement Problems
  • Labor’s Connections/Divergences with other Progressive Movements
  • Alternative Legal Orders
  • Limitations of Liberal Law in addressing Socio-Economic Inequality
  • Courts and Corporations 

The workshop is scheduled for Friday, May 24 at the Center for Political Economy, Columbia University. The deadline for abstract submissions is Sunday, March 10, 11.59pm EST. Submissions may be sent via Google Form.

Participants will be informed of their acceptance by Sunday, March 17. Due to the small number of participants, every workshop attendee will be expected to present their paper, comment on one other paper in detail, and read all other attendees’ work.

A travel and accommodation subsidy will be provided for all presenters. Any questions may be directed to

The organizers especially encourage those at traditionally underfunded institutions to apply.