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Introduction: What future for industrial relations?

In her introductory paper, the coordinator of this Special Issue puts the selection of subsequent contributions into context. Traditional industrial relations institutions, born of labour law’s premise of unbalanced power relations between the worker and the employer, are being undermined by unprecedented global changes in patterns of work and forms of employment. This trend, compounded by the emergence of alternative forms of worker representation, poses a major challenge not only to conventional tradeunionism but also to policy and to industrial relations scholarship. This Special Issue is intended as a contribution to the ensuing, ongoing debate about the direction of future change.