Work in the 21st century
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleJUR-4WORK21
Credits (ECTS)7
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Law; Sociaal recht;
PreviousNext 3
Contactperson for the course
drs. A.M. Gerrits-Artz
Other course modules lecturer
mr. J. Kloostra
Other course modules lecturer
prof. mr. F.G. Laagland
Other course modules lecturer
prof. mr. F.G. Laagland
Other course modules lecturer
dr. A.R. Lehr
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
MSEM1  (01/09/2022 to 29/01/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After completing the course, you:
  • have gained insight into the main (global) developments and challenges in employment relations and labour market institutions;
  • understand how these developments and challenges can be analyzed from legal, socio-economic, socio-political, and philosophical perspectives;
  • are able to critically reflect on the relevant disciplinary perspectives and engage in a multidisciplinary dialogue;
  • have improved your reasoning, writing and presentation skills.
Work is all around us. Labour relations are the key building block for national and international social and economic development and the distribution of (economic) resources. They determine important societal conditions, such as inequality, employment, productivity growth, social cohesion, health and quality of life. Present global and economic developments have fundamentally changed the position of employees within organizations and the labour market at large. These developments lead to an increasing 'precarization' of working conditions for more and more workers. Think, for example, of platform workers and self-employment persons without personnel. 

The developments have triggered debates on how legislation and labour market institutions should adapt. Trade unions, employers and other stakeholders explicitly call for more modern forms of employee representation, dispute resolution, and the regulation of atypical work. The course examines five main questions related to labour relations and labour market institutions:

1. What are the main global challenges to employment relations and labour market institutions?
2. How does current national/EU labour law affect social and economic conditions?
3. How do increasing insecurity and unpredictability affect our daily lives both at a practical and an existential level?
4. What are fair and durable social and economic conditions? What normative idea of fairness should inform future labour market policies and institutions?
5. Based on legal and socio-economic scientific research, how can labour market institutions adapt economic outcomes?

During the course students will discuss questions 1-5 from the three different disciplines: legal, social-economic and philosophical. This will take place through lectures and interactive seminars in which we will focus on the increasing precarization of workers on the labour market. Next to this, students will integrate the disciplinary perspectives on a problem with regard to the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the labour market. More specifically, students will be working on a case study in multidisciplinary groups (group assignment).

Please note: if you are following the Master after having completed the pre-master (after HBO Law), you can only take this course as an extra-curricular course. Therefore this course does not count towards the obligatory 42 EC of Master courses.

Presumed foreknowledge
DUTCH AND FOREIGN STUDENTS: You must have successfully completed a Bachelor to be admitted to this course. A good command of English is required. WARNING: the Faculty of Law probably uses other registration deadlines than other faculties. Registration should be done within the period of the Faculty of Law. For more information, see the website www.ru.nl/rechten/studenten.
Test information
The final grade consists of two parts. First part (50% of final grade) is the grade for the group assignment. The paper needs to be handed in at the end of December. Next to this, the students are asked to deliver an oral presentation about their findings with takes place in January​ 2023. Next to the paper and oral presentation, students have to prepare at least 4 out of 6 seminars by making an individual assignment (50% of final grade). The average of these individual assignments is also part of the final mark.
Students are expected to attend at least 10 out of 12 lectures/seminars of the course. Only when this requirement is met, students can pass this course.

Please note: if you are following the Master after having completed the pre-master (after HBO Law), you can only take this course as an extra-curricular course. Therefore this course does not count towards the obligatory 42 EC of Master courses.

Students of the Nijmegen School of Management take this course for 6 EC, and students of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies take this course for 10 EC.

Contact information:

With questions about the content of the course, please contact prof. mr. F.G. Laagland (femke.laagland@ru.nl).
Questions about organizational aspects can be addressed to the secretary Mrs. Annemarie Gerrits-Artz: 0031 24 3615488, email: annemarie.gerrits-artz@ru.nl.
Required materials
There is no reader
Course guide
The Study Guide will also be published on Brightspace
Materials will be published on Brightspace. No books need to be purchased.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Depending on the developments surrounding Covid-19, lectures may be (partly) offered in digital form this academic year. Keep an eye on the messages on Brightspace for the developments.

Preparation of meetings
Preparation of the seminars is mandatory by making an assignment. The submitted homework is reviewed by the lecturer and assessed with a grade. The average grade is part of the final grade (see below under test methods). You must have submitted at least four out of six assignments.

Language of instruction: English

Type of instructional modeWeblecture

Test weight50
Test typePortfolio
OpportunitiesBlock MSEM1, Block MSEM1

Paper and presentation
Test weight50
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock MSEM1, Block MSEM1