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The Role of Law in the Rule of Economics: A Critical Study of Ghana's Labor Laws

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Adopting a critical theory framework, this paper is especially concerned with linking the economics, law, and politics and their concomitant mediations/interconnections and contradictions. Specifically, the purposes of this paper are to: (a) analyze historically how law has been pliant to the needs of powerful interests or influences by unmasking the disciplinary nature of Ghanian labor laws. The historical origins and transformations of labor relations were not only the deliberate ambiguities of sanctions but also the conflicts waged by the state to secure the respective interests of the privileged; and, (b) specify the conditions under which labor was not free from domination. The conception of the laborlaw nexus was based on struggle. The normative foundations that constitute the construction of labor, political, and economic relations contextualizes how social practices reproduce dominant forms of inequality, law, class, and social control. Consistent with critical theory, this paper upholds the significance of historical knowledge for social criticism and political change. Historical analysis enables us to grasp continuities and discontinuities with the past and to develop resources to change. This study demonstrates that law is not shaped by moral consensus but by the relative power of groups who use scarce resources to impose their economic preferences. Both legitimacy and coercion are persuasively achieved through law, economics, culture, and politics—the foundations of Ghana's postcolonial developments.


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