Call for papers: special issue on Climate Change and Industrial Relations’ Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol.64(4), September 2022

Contact details:
The objective and aim of the special issue Industrial relations and anthropogenic climate change are deeply entwined phenomena. Climate change is the product of work. Human labour is necessary at the point of fossil fuel extraction and is crucial in its manufacture into the products and infrastructures that underpin modern, emissions-intensive societies. Future shifts to low-carbon societies are similarly dependent on human labour, without which the vast programs of reconfigured transportation, housing, energy, cities, health and agricultural systems that are necessary to return humanity into a ‘safe operating space’ cannot be realised. Questions of how different forms of work are valued, organised, and regulated are thus inseverable from environmental policy: we can neither understand the environmental and social contexts for the continued promulgation of emissions-intensive practices, nor imagine and promote their alternatives, without grappling with industrial relations.

Industrial relations, in turn, have been profoundly shaped by fossil extraction processes, and the vast global production networks such fuels underpin, in the past and the present. Modern trade unions were born with the industrial revolution, and with them practices for the exercise of collective power and paradigms of rights, law, value and regulation that continue to inform the organisation of work today. More than two centuries of emissions are also shaping the nature of work in a direct physical sense, by destabilising the ecological conditions for its safe performance, changing the places that are available for human habitation and labour, and rendering the myriad systems that are crucial to work – from food supply to stable geopolitics – more precarious and crisis-prone.

For this special issue, ‘Climate Change and Industrial Relations’, we invite papers that aim to advance scholarship on the mutuality of climate change and industrial relations, and add to our understanding of the ways in which climate changes shapes industrial relations, and the ways in which industrial relations shapes climate change.

Submission to the special issue process: Abstracts of between 500-1,000 words should be submitted to the Guest Editors (see contact details below) by 30 September 2020. The full paper to be submitted online to the JIR for peer review by 14 May 2021. All submitted abstracts will be examined by the Guest Editors for suitability for the special issue.

All submitted papers must be based on original material and not under consideration by any other journal or outlet. All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the Guest Editors and only those papers that fit within the aims and scope of the special issue and meet the academic and editorial standards of the journal, are sent out for external review. All papers will undergo a full double-blind review process and will be evaluated by the Guest Editors of the special issue and at least two independent reviewers.

Organisers and Special Issue Guest-Editors:
Dr Frances Flanagan University of Sydney Business School, Australia Email:
Dr Caleb Goods UWA, Australia Email:

Journal of Industrial Relations (JIR):
JIR Editorial Office Email:

Abstract submission: Sep 30, 2020