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date: 27 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins with a brief description of the social democratic tradition which prevails in mainly European jurisdictions, a tradition characterized by a desire to regulate the imbalance of power in private law relationships, notably the relationship between property and labour. To this end, social democratic constitutions may seek to underpin what has been referred to as the ‘economic constitution’, said to be ‘the very key to the achievement of social democracy’ itself. Constitutions in this latter tradition will typically include two species of economic rights, the first being the rights of property traditionally to be found in liberal constitutions, and the second being the rights of labour which traditionally are not to be found in liberal constitutions. The discussion then turns to economic liberalism; the Weimar legacy; social democracy renewed; workers' rights; trade union rights; economic rights and the ‘new democracies’; and economic rights and liberal democracies.

Keywords: economic rights, social democracy, liberal democracy, economic liberalism, economic constitution, labour rights, trade union rights, workers' rights

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