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01 Dec

MARCH 2: The Cadario Visiting Lecture in Public Policy

December 1, 2020 | By |

MIT’s Kathleen Thelen speaks on Employer Organization and the Law: Historical Legacies and the Long Shadow of the American Courts


A strong and well-organized labor movement is clearly essential to achieving high levels of economic equality and shared prosperity in post-industrial political economies. However, a large comparative literature suggests that durable progress is possible only where employers too are well organized. Based on a comparison with Germany, this paper suggests that interventions by the American courts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had a profound and enduring impact on the organization, goals, and strategies of American employers – discouraging and indeed actively disarticulating forms of business organization that were emerging in this period in Europe’s more coordinated “social” market economies.


  • Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA
  • Peter Loewen (moderator), Associate Director, Global Engagement; Professor, Munk School and the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
  • Cheryl Misak (welcome remarks), Interim Director, Munk School; University Professor and Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
  • Carolyn Tuohy (introductory remarks), Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Distinguished Fellow, Munk School, University of TorontoThe Cadario Visiting Lecture in Public Policy was established through the extraordinary generosity of Paul Cadario, Distinguished Fellow in Global Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.