Professor Ruth Dukes
- Professor of Labour Law (Law)
Ruth Dukes is Professor of Labour Law, and Principal Investigator on the European Research Council-funded project Work on Demand: Contracting for Work in a Changing Economy.
She joined the University of Glasgow in 2005 and holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh (LLB), the Humboldt University in Berlin (LLM with distinction), and the London School of Economics (PhD).
Professor Dukes is a member of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Executive Committee of the Institute of Employment Rights, the Project Board of the Jimmy Reid Foundation, and the Editorial Board of the Spanish Labour Law and Employment Relations Journal. In 2011/12 she was an Early Career Fellow of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and a MacCormick Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.
Dukes has published numerous articles, book chapters, case notes and reports addressing questions of labour law and labour history – among them, the article 'Otto Kahn-Freund and Collective Laissez-Faire: an Edifice without a Keystone?’, winner of the Modern Law Review’s Wedderburn Prize 2009. Her 2014 monograph, The Labour Constitution: the Enduring Idea of Labour Law (OUP) was widely reviewed: (79(4) Modern Law Review; 45(1) Industrial Law Journal; 19(3) Edinburgh Law Review; 37(1) Historical Studies in Industrial Relations; 17(4) European Journal of Social Security; 10 Revue de droit du travail) and formed the subject of a Symposium in the 2018 volume of Jurisprudence. Several of her publications are available here.
Ruth Dukes’ research interests lie in the field of labour law, particularly collective labour law, and theories and systems of worker representation. She has published widely on trade union law, theories of labour law, employee information and consultation, and British, German and European labour history. She is known in particular for her work on the ‘founding fathers’ of the discipline of labour law: Hugo Sinzheimer, Otto Kahn-Freund, and Lord Wedderburn.
Ruth currently holds a five year grant from the European Research Council to investigate Work on Demand: Contracting for Work in a Changing Economy. Leading a team of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, Ruth seeks to analyse the ever-evolving nature of contracts and contracting behaviour in the world of work – not only contracts of employment, but also those of casual, ‘zero-hours’, and self-employed workers. A particular point of focus is the emerging ‘gig’ or ‘on demand’ economy, in which consumers order a range of services, or delivery of a range of goods, online or via smart phone apps.
The project has a strong comparative dimension, and will analyse differences in forms of contract and contracting behaviour across jurisdictions and over the course of several decades. A key innovation is the characterisation of contracting for work as an instance of economic, social and legal behaviour. With the aim of developing a new methodology for the study of work contracts, the team will seek to synthesise elements of economic sociology, sociology of law, and political economy into a new ‘economic sociology of labour law’. The relevance of this work will extend beyond the field of labour law into other legal disciplines and branches of social science. Further information can be found on the project website: https://workondemand.co.uk/
In 2014, a 5-year research project, partly funded by the AHRC, resulted in publication of The Labour Constitution: the Enduring Idea of Labour Law (Series: Oxford Monographs on Labour Law, OUP 2014). The project was conceived as a contribution to scholarly debates on the so-called crisis in labour law. Building on earlier work on the scholarship of Kahn-Freund and Sinzheimer, and combining historical, legal and socio-legal analysis, it sought to make the case for the continued relevance of foundational texts to the study of labour law today. In the course of doing so, it provided original accounts of the history of labour law and industrial relations in Germany, the UK, and the European Union, and an extended analysis of different approaches to study of the field.
Between 2015 and 2017, Ruth led the Labour Law and Labour Markets: New Methodologies project. Funded by the Adam Smith Research Foundation and John Robertson Bequest, the project brought together leading scholars from around the world to consider methodologies appropriate to the study of labour laws and labour markets. A Symposium was held at the University of Glasgow in November 2016. A collection of papers resulting from the project was published in a special issue of Social & Legal Studies
The Labour Constitution: The Enduring Idea of Labour Law
Runner-up of the SLSA Socio-Legal Theory and History Prize 2016
Read the Reviews and Awards of the book on the OUP webpages
Dukes, R. (2014) The Labour Constitution: The Enduring Idea of Labour Law. Series: Oxford monographs on labour law. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780199601691
Dukes, R. (2016) Conflict and the crisis in labour law. In: Kjaer, P. F. and Olsen, N. (eds.) Critical Theories of Crisis in Europe: From Weimar to the Euro. Series: Reinventing Critical Theory. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 9781783487455
Dukes, R. (2015) Wedderburn and the theory of labour law: building on Kahn-Freund. Industrial Law Journal, 44(3), pp. 357-384. (doi:10.1093/indlaw/dwv015)
Dukes, R. (2009) Otto Kahn-Freund and collective Laissez-Faire: an edifice without a keystone? Modern Law Review, 72(2), pp. 220-246. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2230.2009.00741.x)
Professor Dukes has been awarded the following grants:
Professor Ruth Dukes was awarded €1.42 million from the European Research Council to finance a major five-year project: Work on Demand: Contracting for Work in a Changing Economy (WorkOD).
Dr Ruth Dukes was awarded £1500 from the John Robertson Bequest to finance a one day Conference on Labour Law and Labour Markets: New Methodologies.
Dr Ruth Dukes was awarded £2500 from the Adam Smith Research Foundation to finance a one day Conference on Labour Law and Labour Markets: New Methodologies.
Dr Ruth Dukes and Professor Emilios Christodoulidis were awarded £2000 from Social & Legal Studies to help finance a series of seminars on the topic of Social Rights and Markets
Dr Ruth Dukes and Professors Alan Bogg (Oxford) and Tonia Novitz (Bristol) were awarded £3575 from the Modern Law Review to finance a one day conference in celebration of the scholarship of Bob Simpson, The Changing Face of Collective Labour Law.
Dr Ruth Dukes was awarded a £65,675 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship in 2011 for research on the Constitutional Function of Labour Law.
Dr Ruth Dukes and Prof Emilios Christodoulidis were awarded a grant of £4,000 by the Modern Law Review to finance a series of seminars on the topic of ‘Constitutionalising Employment Relations’ with papers from Harry Arthurs, Alain Supiot and Gunther Teubner.
Dr Ruth Dukes was awarded £1500 from the Industrial Law Society to sponsor a plenary session at the Critical Legal Studies Conference, with papers from Karl Klare and Keith Ewing.