Call for Papers Comparative Labour Law and Policy Journal Thematic Issue: Regulating Work in Developing Economies: Innovative Approaches and Perspectives

While the traditional model of labour law faces challenges the world over, it is now well recognised that the challenges in developing economies are of a different nature and order of magnitude. Here, the empirical realities of the world of work are fundamentally different from labour law’s imaginings. So too are the regulatory environments, constraints, and traditions: in developing economies the divide between the law on the books and the law in practice can be a gulf, not a gap. Together, they challenge the boundaries of labour law as we know it, demanding novel and innovative regulatory responses. In recent years, important steps have been taken to reconsider the scope and methods of labour law and to redress the marginalisation of developing economies’ experiences.1 Nevertheless, labour law discourse in both academic and policy circles – including comparative labour law – continues to be dominated by the narratives and experiences of the global North.

This special issue invites papers that examine various aspects of labour law in developing economies. Labour law is understood here broadly, to encompass all tools and institutions that regulate work. Papers may thus engage with a wide range of topics including (but not limited to): informality, regulatory actors and institutions, compliance and enforcement, migrant labour, dispute resolution, or working conditions in production for global supply chains. Papers may be concerned with public (state-based), private or hybrid forms of regulation. While recognising that accurate description of regulatory frameworks is a necessary predicate for informed debate and comparative analysis, we encourage papers that go beyond mere accounts of the law. We seek papers that are analytical of labour regulation in practice in developing economies – not accounts of black letter law and/or gaps between labour market realities and international standards. We encourage papers that adopt novel perspectives or methodological approaches. This includes papers that draw on other disciplines (e.g., economics, political science, industrial relations, labour studies, sociology and anthropology) to better understand the nature of the regulatory challenges faced by labour law in developing
economies, as well those that offer or examine innovative regulatory responses. We welcome submissions that draw on empirical work such as key informant interviews, and/or participant observation. South-South comparative studies and regional studies are also very welcome.

Guidelines for Authors
Abstract submission (max 500 words, with title and details of author(s) and institutional affiliations): 28 February 2023
Communication of acceptance: 31 March 2023
Submission of full papers: 31 January 2024
Submissions must be made in English. Final manuscripts must be original texts of between 5,000 to 12,000 words (twenty to fifty double-spaced, typed pages).
In accordance with the policy of the Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, manuscripts will be submitted for peer review.
For abstract submission or questions, please email Colin Fenwick at

Abstract submission: Feb 28, 2023