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This book uses the concepts of vulnerability and resilience to analyze the situation of individuals and institutions in the context of the employment relationship. It is based on the premise that both employer and employee are vulnerable to various social, economic, and political forces, although differently so. It demonstrates how in responding to those complementary institutional relationships of employer and employee the state unequally and inequitably favors employers over employees.
Several chapters included in this collection also consider how the state shapes, creates and maintains through law the social identities of employer and employee and how that legal regime operates as the allocation of power and privilege. This unique and fundamental role of the state in defining the employment relationship profoundly affects the respective abilities and degree of resiliency of actual employers and employees.
Other chapters explore how attention to the respective vulnerability and resilience of those who do and those who direct work in assessing the employment relationship can raise fundamental questions of social justice and suggest new avenues for critical engagement with labor and employment law. Collectively, these pieces articulate a framework for imaging what would constitute an appropriately "Responsive State" in the employment context and how those interested in social justice might begin to use the concepts of vulnerability and resilience in their arguments.