British Universities Industrial Relations Association


The British Universities Industrial Relations Annual Conference 2015

Theme: Politics, Labour and Missing Voices

24th - 26th June 2015

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

This year’s conference comes only six weeks after a general election in the UK. We live in challenging times. Shifts in contemporary capitalism, the global economic crisis, austerity policies, the movement of labour across national frontiers and the rise of extremist politics invite consideration of the state, capital and labour in the early 21st century. What do contemporary developments imply for social cohesion, industrial relations, management, voice, and the quest to develop sustainable forms of work and employment? How can politics, labour and society respond?

The theme of this year’s conference therefore is intended to encourage submissions which engage with the way that industrial relations and human resource management interact with wider developments and debates around politics, public policy, democratic participation and voice, within the context of work and labour.

This may involve, but is not restricted to, areas of interest such as:

  • State, capital and labour in contemporary capitalisms in the 21st century
  • The future of labour movements and trade unions
  • The movement of labour across national borders  (e.g. immigration, migrant workers, European Union (EU) enlargement, experiences of minority groups in the labour market, the rise of extremist politics, trade union responses)
  • Austerity policies and employment in the public sector
  • The effects of welfare and social policy on employment
  • Inequality, poverty and disadvantage in the labour market
  • The role of international economic and social organisations and groupings such as the EU and its agencies and the International Labour Organization.
  • The changing nature of ‘work’  in the twenty first century
  • Diversity and equality policy and practice
  • Capitalism, skill and the quality of working life
  • Voice and silence, resistance and activism (e.g. the effectiveness of current participation and involvement mechanisms, industrial democracy, missing and silenced voices at work)

Empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers are all welcomed.

We aim to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for all participants and we particularly encourage submissions from new researchers including PhD students. There is a thriving BUIRA PhD network and additionally a PhD workshop will take place at the conference. There is a reduced fees rate for PhD students.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts are welcome from non-BUIRA members. However if your abstract is accepted prior to presenting at the conference you will be required to join the Association on registration. Membership is £40 per year (£20 per year for PhD students).

Abstracts can be submitted any time between 7th November 2014 and 6th February 2015.

Abstracts should be submitted along with the completed submission form (640KB) to:

Abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members.

Decisions will be notified by late March 2015.

The British Universities' Industrial Relations Association began in 1950 and now has developed to have over 500 members. BUIRA members are academics or research students working in industrial relations, labour law, labour economics, human resource (or personnel) management, industrial sociology, occupational psychology, trade union studies and labour history.

Members of BUIRA are part of an academic community, all of whom share an interest in the field of industrial relations. Members are able to network with others in the field. Members have access to the complete website, receive weekly bulletins, have the opportunity to attend an annual conference and have access to certain journals at a discounted rate.

Members are elected onto the BUIRA Executive at the AGM held every year at the BUIRA Conference and every three years a group of Stewards are elected to manage the day to day activities of the organisation.

BUIRA is affiliated to the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (LERA)

BUIRA attempts to be an inclusive organisation and has developed its own Equality and Diversity policy.

The BUIRA Conference is a forum for engagement in academic debate in our field of study and is held in June each year for more details on this year's conference click here

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