Matthew W. Finkin
This article proceeds in four stages. First, it takes up the emergence of labour law and its comparative offspring as a discipline. Second, it provides a crude taxonomy of comparative labour law scholarship. Third, it treats the role comparativism has played in the development of national labour policy from the nineteenth century to the present. Fourth, and to come full circle, it situates the comparative study with respect to the contemporary quandary of labour law as a discipline. Comparative labour law was born fast upon the construction of labour law as a subject of instruction and academic study. Even from the beginning, however, it was far from clear what labour law was. Today, that question has recrudesced: labour law is a discipline in search of an identity and, to some, a future. Consequently, attention rightly turns first to the root of which comparative study is a branch.