What is the point of industrial relations? Research in the field has existed in Britain for well over a century, and university teaching in the subject dates back to the 1930s. Yet, in recent years, its relevance has been increasingly questioned by policymakers, with moves towards a form of 'disciplinary cleansing'. In this article, we demonstrate why the critical, cross-disciplinary, multilevel analysis that is of central importance to the industrial relations tradition remains both intellectually and ethically essential
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