Banner Viadrina

Center for
Interdisciplinary Labour Law Studies


What we build on

Work of all kinds shapes social coexistence and serves as a basis for the creation of social value. Work takes place in diverse arrangements. The social organisation of paid work is closely linked and dependent upon how a society organizes care work.

Law places a key role in configuring work, and work is embedded in the law. The institutions and key social actors of labour law – legislators, courts, workers and their representatives such as trade unions, employers and their associations – play a fundamental role in the constitution of order in a society constructed around and with work. Inequalities, stereotypes and power structures that exist in a society are both mirrored in work and law and reflected back into society. But at the same time, legal norms, procedures and institutions contribute to work enabling participation in society.

Transformations and the dissolution of boundaries in work relationships over the past decades have brought about manifold shifts and reconstitutions of how societies organize work. To gain an understanding of how these shifts unfold and how work is being reconfigured, to map these changes and to develop different modes of regulation requires an interdisciplinary vantage point on the role that (labour) law can and does play, while at the same time observing changes that do or need to take place.

How we work

The focus of the Centre will lie on gainful labour and paid work while being attentive to how paid work is systematically shaped by and shapes (unpaid) care work. Questions that arise within the German and European legal systems serve as the basis for comparative research perspectives that concentrate on transnational and global contexts.

Methodologically the Center will emphasize empirical research of practices of law, drawing upon the sociology of law and socio-legal studies. Therefore, our work is characterized by a reflexive approach to law: the Center is committed to interdisciplinary research seeking to understand the particular dynamics of law and the legal system but also to critically reflect law in its dual nature as a system of hegemonial power as well as a resource for countervailing power and emancipation. The Center provides a setting for cooperation between legal scholars and those of other disciplines as well as rooms for discussion and interdisciplinary debate around theory and methods.

What we do

C*LLaS organizes, coordinates and initiates projects within the realm of interdisciplinary labour law research where approaches from law, organisational, social, cultural and gender studies are brought together. The Center builds upon a focus in research that has been existing at Viadrina since 2009; it institutionalizes a research network, and is committed to foster the development of interdisciplinary labour law research on an international level. The Center particularly promotes early career researchers. C*LLaS also engages in the transfer of research, for which it is involved in constant exchange with the praxis and politics of law.