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Gilbert Skillman


College of Social Studies


English (United States)


The United States' liberal constitutional tradition has been, for the most part, historically resistant to labor regulation, unions, and state affirmation of workers' rights generally. The philosophy of economic democracy would require that democratic rights of participation must to be extended to the "private" economic sphere, such that firms organize themselves democratically, which is seemingly in conflict. I submit incorporating forms of worker participation into a labor relations policy can promote the normative ends of economic democracy without unjustly imposing on individuals' liberty of contract or property rights. In this thesis, I examine why the scope of worker's rights has been so limited thus far in American labor policy, consider the potential ways that participation can operate within industrial relations systems, and suggest ways that policies to encourage worker participation could be applied in the American context.



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