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Since the onset of globalization, protective labour legislation has been deeply eroded throughout the industrialized world. In its place we have a plethora of new employment phenomena such as flexible work time, temporary work services, decentralization of collective bargaining, private fee-charging employment placement services - a wide variety of arrangements in which employers and individual workers reach mutual agreement with little or no reliance on legal norms of government regulation.;What are the dimensions and implications of this trend? And how should we go about ensuring the continuing effectiveness of labour law as an instrument of social ordering? These important questions drew a group of prominent labour law scholars from eight major developed countries to the Fifth Japan Institute of Labour (JIL) Comparative Labour Law Seminar in Tokyo in November 1998.;Each participant presented papers and engaged in group discussion on the following topics: changes in labour market regulations, such as abolition of state-monopolized employment placement services and deregulation of fixed-term contracts; trends in individual labour relations, such as working hour flexibilization and expansion of derogation toward individual consent; and developments in collective labour relations, such as the movements from centralized bargaining to company- or plant-level bargaining and from trade unions to works councils. This book is the record of this seminar. Its analysis and conclusions should be useful to any practitioner, policymaker or academic interested in using available means to ensure the persistence of our commitment to high standards in labour relations. It is an integrated starting point from which to proceed toward a new labour law concept positively adapted to the socio-economic realities of the modern world.