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Call for Papers


Labour Law Research Network (LLRN) Conference

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV)

June 23-25, 2019



1.    Introduction

The Labour Law Research Network (LLRN) was established in 2011 by 30 research centres from all over the world. 66 labour law research institutions are now affiliated with the LLRN. One of the objectives of the LLRN is to hold biennial international conferences focusing on academic topics on labour law (broadly conceived) , including the presentation and discussion of original papers and to allow cutting-edge topics to surface from the participating scholars to enhance understanding of current thinking in labour law.  

The first three such conferences – Barcelona 2013, Amsterdam 2015 and Toronto 2017 – were remarkably successful in drawing together scholars from around the world and, established a tradition of the LLRN Conference as the largest academic labour law conference in the world (attendance at Barcelona was 330, at Amsterdam 460, and at Toronto over 350), and the most important focal point for global labour law scholarship. Those who missed the previous conferences are invited to consult the LLRN website: to review the topics discussed.

We are pleased to announce that the fourth LLRN conference will be held in Valparaíso, Chile on June 23-25, 2019, hosted by the Faculty and the School of Law of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV).


2.     Venue

Valparaíso is located on the central coast of the continental territory of Chile, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It is the capital of the province and region of Valparaiso, which together with the municipalities of Viña del Mar, Quilpué, Villa Alemana and Concón form the Metropolitan Area of Valparaiso. Valparaiso has a population of approximately 1.5 million, and is the second largest metropolitan area in Chile. Valparaíso is the seat of the National Congress and other national institutions such as the National Council for Culture and the Arts, and the Under-secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Historically it has been the most important port in Chile.

The PUCV Law School is also one of the most prestigious and oldest law schools in Chile, founded in 1894. We hold an important tradition of hosting different law seminars and congresses, at a regional and national level.

The wonderful city of Valparaiso and the municipalities around offer many attractions. The historic quarter of the city is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Chile’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, poet and politican Pablo Neruda lived here, and two of his homes can be visited. Along the coast they are many beautiful beaches, as well as restaurants where you can enjoy our local gastronomic delights. A wide range of other cultural activities are available. At the time of the conference, the daily maximum temperature in Valparaiso will be around 20°C, which will pleasant for both participation at the conference, and for enjoying the city and surrounds.


3.     LLRN4Valparaíso — The Ambition 

The LLRN4 Valparaiso conference will be the LLRN’s first conference held in the Southern Hemisphere. It is for that reason that we emphasise that this will be a truly global exchange and discussion between researchers, practitioners and academics from all continents about today’s trends and developments concerning work and its regulation for all types of workers, and in all kinds of country and regional contexts. We aim to provide a space that will allow for presentation of, and debate about, cutting edge research on labour law issues relevant to the contexts of both developing and industrialised economies. We also aim to include dialogue about legal form, as well as to encourage approaches of other disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, industrial relations, political theory, feminist and gender theory.


3.     Main tracks 

We are confident that the conference will attract a diverse array of scholars and exciting scholarship on a wide range of issues. We expect to structure panels and presentations on a wide variety of topics related to the law of work, in keeping with previous LLRN conferences. There is no strict category of tracks or themes to which papers must be aligned. Nonetheless, we encourage and particularly invite contributions that address the following themes, with a view to stimulate an enriching global conversation.

As with previous LLRN conferences, LLRN4 Valparaíso is open to any other contribution on labour law (as always, broadly conceived) on a subject that can be shown to be globally relevant. In this context, please note that descriptive submissions focusing on one legal system will not usually be accepted, unless they appear to be of particular interest to scholars from other jurisdictions. 

The Goals of Labour Law

Labour law can incorporate a wide range of goals and purposes. These are not always related to those who are dependent on their labour for a living, but also the protective environment for the worker’s dependents, and for the living conditions of wider society. In this way it is interesting to study the goals to be achieved by labour law as a corrective factor, in the attainment of greater protection, justice or redistribution. This track invites papers and panels covering the following topics:

  • Labour law, democracy and development;Social protection and social justice across the life course;
  • Mechanisms for achieving equality and non-discrimination at work on all grounds;
  • Social justice, hierarchies and violence at work in an era of #MeToo;
  • The challenge of informality in the global North and the global South;
  • Safety at work or workers’ well-being?


Labour Law’s Means

In the face of constant change, there is increasing fluidity and uncertainty about the actors, institutions and instruments engaged in the governance of work. This track invites papers and panels covering the following topics:

  • What does it mean to regulate work? Tools, techniques and the choice between formal and informal labour regulation;
  • Contract, legislation, and other regulatory tools (including public and private procurement, industry subsidies, and trade agreements);
  • The voice of social actors: the representative role of unions vs civil society associations;
  • International institutions and labour law – The ILO, WTO, OECD, UN and regional institutions (e.g., AU, EU, Mercosur, ASEAN);
  • Self-regulation: Can the discourses and norms of ‘business and human rights’ or ‘corporate social responsibility’ adequately protect labour?


Labour Law’s Impact

New forms of production and work raise questions about the continuing viability of the classical forms and methods of labour law in ensuring effective protection for rights at work, and structuring labour markets. Among the challenges are those of a personal nature (exclusion of certain categories and types of workers from protection), an institutional nature (lack of administrative or judicial control), and of a structural nature (new forms of work).

This track invites papers and panels covering the following topics:

  • Statelessness, migration and labour law – refugees, displaced persons, and migrant workers;
  • Responses to the challenges facing effective enforcement of labour law;
  • ‘New’ business models(for example,  platform work and platform capitalism, on-demand work, corporate disaggregation, franchising, agency work) – and labour law’s response;
  • The continuing relevant of ‘old’ forms of work? Unpaid labour, family employment and care work;
  • Alternative models of social protection and social justice: the Universal Basic Income model, the Transitional Labour Markets model, and others.


Labour Law’s Methodologies

The phenomenon of work can be approached from multiple perspectives. Each of these can be valid. What it is interesting for the study of labour law, and for the purposes of comparison, is to understand how old and new methodologies can complement each other leading to a better understanding of the work and its protection.

This track invites papers and panels covering the following topics:

  • Innovative doctrinal, empirical, interdisciplinary and/or experimental approaches;
  • Feminist and critical perspectives on labour law;
  • Proposals for ‘Fishbowls’ or ‘Labour Law Laboratories’.


5.     Format

LLRN4Valparaíso aims to maintain the diversity in formats of workshop presentation and discussion introduced at previous LLRN conferences. To this end, although we very much encourage submission of papers for presentation in panels/sessions, as well as proposals for full panels/sessions or book presentations, we also encourage proposals for innovative modes of participation that depart from these models of interaction. We invite submissions as follows, noting that all proposals will be subject to peer-review by the organising committees:

Paper abstract: scholars interested in presenting papers at the conference are invited to submit an abstract of up to 500 words. Please include a title, your name and affiliation, and contact information. Also include a “key words” line.

Panel session: scholars are also welcome to submit proposals for full panel sessions, which include 4 papers; or 3 papers and a discussant. Please try to avoid panels in which all the participants come from the same country. Proposals should be submitted by the convener of the panel (who can also serve as the chair), and include abstracts of all proposed papers as well as a short integrative statement explaining the theme of the panel (all in one document).

Book presentation: scholars who recently published a book around an important labour law issue, or otherwise wish to raise a discussion around a recent book, are invited to propose a panel with 4 speakers (authors, discussants or any combination thereof). Proposals for a book presentation do not require abstracts, just a short explanation of the book’s importance and brief biographies of the participants. Please note that these sessions (if accepted) might be allocated less time than regular panel/sessions.

Alternative formats: We also invite people to signal their interest in other forms of presentation and participation. Here are a number of formats that might be considered: roundtables, ‘fishbowls’ or ‘labour law labs’ in which people make short interventions addressing themes or issues from the standpoint of their research, designed to help resolve troubling labour law policy challenges; ‘TED’–style short talks on specific topics of interest, both inside and at the edges of the law of work; moderated or ‘hot seat’ encounters with an invited guest; films – plus discussion; art exhibits and music. Presenters who wish to innovate in these or other formats need not worry that their written work will not be available or disseminated; the conference organizers will ensure that papers of presenters in alternative formats are available on the conference website.

Information regarding the technical method of submission will be provided closer to the submission deadline. In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions please contact us at


6.     Main tracks

Participants are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation; however, as at previous conferences there will be no conference fees, although there will be charge to cover costs for coffee/tea breaks, lunches and dinner. The fee will be announced in due course but we anticipate it to be not remarkably higher than previous conferences. Information about recommended hotels and other lodging options, as well as special rates for conference participants, will also be provided in due course.


7.     Scholars from developing countries

As with previous LLRN conferences, the organisers of LLRN4 intend to raise funds to provide financial assistance to as many participants as possible from developing countries who cannot otherwise attend the conference. While we are not now in a position to guarantee such funding, it is vital to the LLRN’s ambitions for this conference, and scholars from developing countries are encouraged to submit abstracts or panel proposals, and clearly note their need of financial support.


8.     Key Dates

Oct. 15, 2018                      Last day to submit abstracts/panel proposals

Dec. 15, 2018                     Decisions on acceptance of papers/panel proposals May 25, 2019  Last day to submit full papers

June 23-25, 2019               Conference


9.     Organizing Committee


International Organizing Committee

John Howe, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Diamond Ashiagbor, University of London, England.

Elena Gerasimova, Department of Labour Law of the Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Russia.

Brian Langille, University of Toronto, Canada.

Sophie Robin Olivier, Université Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne, France.

Kamala Sankaran, University of Delhi, India.


International Scientific Committee

Maria Lorena Cook, Cornell University, USA.

Bernd Waas, Goethe University - Frankfurt Am Main, Germany.

Avinash Govindjee, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa .

Gabriela Mendizábal Bermúdez, Universidad Autonóma del Estado de Morelos, México.

Local Organizing Committee


Pablo Arellano Ortiz, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Executive Director

Andrés Ahumada Salvo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Local Team

Eduardo Caamaño Rojo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

José Luis Guerrero Becar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Manuel Nuñez Poblete, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Martin Loo Gutiérrez, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Rodrigo Moncada, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Dagmar Salazar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Sergio Gamonal Contreras Universidad Adolfo Ibañez

Irene Rojas Miño, Universidad de Talca

Juan Pablo Severin Concha,  Universidad Católica del Norte


10.     Contact

All questions and suggestions should be addressed to:

The website for the conference is: