Rebecca ZAHN


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


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Personal profile

Personal Statement

My main research interests and specialisation lie in European, national and comparative labour law. I teach EU law, labour law and Scots contract law, and have previously also taught commercial law and delict (tort).

I am currently working on an historical labour law project, funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant, which examines British influences on German codetermination by looking at the interactions between exiled German trade unionists and British trade unions during World War Two. In this context, I am interested in German and British labour movements' understandings of industrial democracy and codetermination during the 20th century.

I have published widely in the field of (European) labour law including a monograph entitled New Labour Laws in Old Member States (CUP, 2017) which compared Austrian, German, British, Irish and Swedish trade union responses to increased labour migration following the EU's Eastern Enlargements. The book was reviewed in the (2020) Edinburgh Law Review, the (2018) 47(2) Industrial Law Journal and (2018) 43(3) European Law Review where it described as ‘socio-legal EU scholarship of the very best sort […] a rich and theoretically informed novel account of the law in practice; and inspiration for future legal developments.’

My contribution to the field of labour and employment relations research was acknowledged in 2018 when I was a runner up of the International Labor and Employment Relations Associations’ (ILERA) Luis Aparicio Prize for emerging scholars.

I have also published doctrinal work on the contract of employment (with David Cabrelli, University of Edinburgh) which was cited with approval by Lords Hope, Wilson and Sumption in the Supreme Court decision Société Générale v Geys [2012] UKSC 63. I am currently (together with David Cabrelli) examining the relationship between domination-based conceptions of social justice and labour law.

I am a case and comment editor for the Juridical Review (the Law Journal of the Scottish Universities) and an editor of Green's Employment Law Bulletin. I am on the Research Committe of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the management board of the Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE) and am one of the lead academics in the Civil Society Brexit Project, funded by the Legal Education Foundation until 2022, which helps civil society organisations in Scotland to prepare for Brexit consequences for themselves or their service users.

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2015 from the University of Stirling where I held a lectureship in law. Prior to that, I was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence.

I received my Ph.D in Law from the University of Edinburgh. My PhD thesis was awarded the European Trade Union Confederation’s Brian Bercusson Award for the best PhD thesis to have been submitted in European Labour Law between 2006 and 2010.



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