LLS Staff Seminar #2: Social Rights and Markets: Sovereignty, Market Building and Labour Law in the African Union

In the second La Trobe Law School Staff Seminar for 2015, Professor Diamond Ashiagbor, Professor of Labour Law, SOAS, University of London will interrogate the social dimension of regional economic integration: how markets may be embedded within, constituted by, and ameliorated through the ‘social’, in particular by labour law and social policy, with a focus on integration within sub-Saharan Africa.


How can one best understand the relationship between social rights and markets? This paper is part of a research project which interrogates the social dimension of regional economic integration, by which is understood cooperation between states, principally in the area of trade policy, through common institutions and common rules. At the core is the question of the extent to which markets in general and trade liberalisation in particular may be embedded within, constituted by, and ameliorated through, the ‘social’, in particular by labour law and social policy. Its central thesis is that regional integration with a social dimension has the potential to engender a more equitable pattern of trade liberalisation. The empirical focus is on the extent to which insights from regional economic integration between the industrialised nations of the European Union can be applied to integration within the African Union


Diamond Ashiagbor joined SOAS in September 2010 as Professor of Labour Law, having previously been a Reader in Law at University College London. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford and has a PhD from the European University Institute.

Her previous positions include: Research Fellow in the Institute of European and Comparative Law, University of Oxford and Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford; Lecturer in Law in the University of Hull. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School, New York (2000, 2007). She has also been the recipient of a US-EU Fulbright Research Award; a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship, Department of Law, European University Institute (2011); and a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (2013-14).

Diamond’s main areas of research interest are labour/employment law, in particular in the context of regional integration (the European Union and the African Union); labour law, trade and development; economic sociology of law; human rights, equality and multiculturalism. Her book The European Employment Strategy: Labour Market Regulation and New Governance, OUP, 2005 (Oxford Monographs on Labour Law) was winner of the 2006 Society of Legal Scholars / Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. Recent research projects have included a workshop and two journal special issues on economic sociology of law, co-organised with Prabha Kotiswaran and Amanda Perry Kessaris.

Diamond is a member of the editorial boards of Feminist Legal Studies and Current Legal Problems. Within SOAS, Diamond co-organises the Economic Sociology of Law Reading Group, and within London, the London Labour Law Discussion Group.


Date: Wednesday 15 April 2015

Time: 12.45pm to 2pm

Venue: Martin Building, Level 3, Room 362A, La Trobe University, Bundoora

Cost: Free

RVSP: To register your interest in attending this event and for the purpose of catering RSVP here

Marc Trabsky