The article suggests to improve the theory of industrial relations and labour law by using advanced sociological systems theory. It starts by criticising Dunlop's approach to industrial relations systems from the perspective of Niklas Luhmann's theory of social systems. It then outlines the major elements and structures of an autopoietic industrial relations system and introduces the concept of reflexive labour law. In its final part the article engages in a discussion of industrial relations in a world society which transcends national boundaries. Theories of globalisation and of world systems are compared and used for an assessment of the future of industrial relations and labour law in the emergent world society
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