Photo of Ania Zbyszewska

Ania Zbyszewska

Associate Professor

Phone:613-520-2600 x. 2621
Office:C475 Loeb Building

Research Interests

My interdisciplinary, socio-legal research is conceptually and methodologically informed by feminist political economy, political ecology, and critical legal studies. Broadly, I am interested in law’s distributional effects and in law’s role in constituting socio-ecological relations and ways of making a living. My work also attends to the interaction of legal discourses and governance regimes operating at multiple spatial and temporal scales, such as in the context of historic and ongoing colonial relations, processes of regional integration, and under conditions of change.

I have written on the gendered (and other relational) dimensions of work and labour markets and the regulatory challenges and possibilities inherent in their historical constitution and ongoing transformations. My work engages a critique of labour law’s normative underpinnings and boundaries, especially the exclusion of unpaid work of care and social reproduction from its scope, and the consequences of these regulatory choices. It also scrutinizes policies designed to redress labour market inequalities and evaluates their potential to center care relations and redistribute opportunities, rather than reify economic contributions as a basis for citizenship and belonging. Among others, I have published on working time, work family reconciliation, gender equality and inclusion policies, as well as neoliberalism, post-socialist transition, and crisis governance and labour market reform.

A parallel strand of my research revolves around the interface of work and environmental regulation. My work in this strand explores both the nexus between environment and more traditional forms of work organization and regulation, as well as labour law’s socio-ecological constitution through categories of labour and land, and with attention to the dynamics of exploitation and expropriation. The special issues of the Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal on Labour Law and Sustainability and the just published 2023 IJCLL&IL Special Issue on the Labour-Environment Nexus, feature some of my work in this latter strand. I have also led a UK case study in an EU-funded (Horizon 2020) project Agreenment, on the role of collective bargaining, unions, and workers in agitating for more sustainable work systems, and most recently, I wrote a speculative judgment and commentary rethinking dangerous work from a feminist-relational-ecological perspective for a forthcoming edited collection on Earth Law (Hart/Bloomsbury).

Alongside these two key strands, I am also interested in alternative forms of solidarity building, work organization, and governance as essential elements of resistance to the erosion of working condition, labour market segmentation, and the overall unsustainability of the dominant models of work organization.

Current Projects

My SSHRC Insight Grant (2022) project Law and the Labour/Environment Nexus: Interactions, Implications, Regulatory Alternatives, considers the implications of the interface between labour and environment/land-related regulatory regimes for the im/possibilities of social reproduction of different lives, livelihoods, and ways of being in the world. Carried out in collaboration with colleagues at the Federal University of Ouro Preto, this empirical project involves ethnographic, social cartographic, and participatory field research in mining-affected communities in Brazil and Canada. It combines feminist political ecology with theories of racial capitalism and decolonial thinking to document the problems inherent in the contemporary regulatory regimes, but also to glean, from grounded knowledges and praxes, what it might mean to sustainably regulate diverse livelihoods in the face of ongoing colonial, capitalist relations.

Another project I am involved in is a collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation examining the concept of ‘just transition’ in relation to its equitable and just application to formal and informal labour and developing economies. We are currently writing a research-based policy paper for the UN Climate Conference of Parties (COP) 28, in November 2023.

Teaching and Supervision

I teach courses in Employment Law, Employment Dispute Resolution, and a graduate seminar Regulating Labour in the 21st Century: Bodies, Spaces, Flows, Utopias. All my teaching is informed by the conceptual and methodological lenses I adopt in my research.

I am interested in supervising legal and socio-legal research on regulation of work and labour markets; gender, law and work/livelihoods; relationship between labour and environmental sustainability; feminist and other critical theories of law; feminist political economy and ecology of work; settler capitalism and land-based, decolonial struggles; commons-based and cooperative work organization; critical policy studies; post-socialist transitions; and multi-level governance regimes.


Prior to joining Carleton’s Department of Law and Legal Studies, I was Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick School of Law (UK) and Director of Warwick’s Connecting Research on Employment and Work (CREW) Network (2017-2019). I also held Research Fellowships at Warwick Law School (2013-2016) and Lund University Faculty of Law in Sweden (2015), and I was selected as the 2019-20 France-ILO Research Chair at Nantes Institute of Advanced Study (declined). I won the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) Best Thesis prize for my doctoral work (2013) and was a member of the British Academy Raising Star Engagement Award (BARSEA)-funded project entitled Future Directions in EU Labour Law (2015). I have a PhD in Law and Society from University of Victoria Faculty of Law (2012), an LL.B. from the University of Windsor, and a BA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto. I am a co-founding member of the Moving Labour Collective, a collaboration between an international group of labour law researchers invested in working with activists and the mentoring and development of junior colleagues.

Selected Publications


Zbyszewska, A. 2016. Gendering European Working Time Regimes: The Working Time Directive and the Case of Poland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

[Reviewed: Plomien, A. (2018) “Book review: Ania Zbyszewska: Gendering European working time regimes.” Feminist Legal Studies, 26(2): 229-232].

Blackham, A., Kullmann, M. and Zbyszewska, A. (eds.) 2019. Theorizing Labour Law in a Changing World: Towards an Inclusive Labour Law. Hart/Bloomsbury.

Journal Articles

Zbyszewska, A., Maximo, F. 2023. “Rethinking the Labour-Environment Nexus: Beyond Coloniality, Towards New Epistemologies for Labour Law.” International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 39 (3-4) (in press).

Zbyszewska, A., Sekalala, S. 2023. “Towards A Feminist Geo-Legal Ethic Of Caring Within Medical Supply Chains: Lessons From Careless Supply During The COVID-19 Pandemic.Feminist Legal Studies, 1-26 10.1007/s10691-023-09520-1 (50%) (accepted Nov 2022; published 21 February).

Zbyszewska, A. 2021. “Working with and around Voluntarism: Union Engagement with Environmental Sustainability in the UK” E-Journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies, 10(1): 66-81.

Zbyszewska, A. 2018. “Regulating Work with People and ‘Nature’ in Mind: Feminist Reflections”. Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 40(1).

Benedi-Lahuerta, S., Zbyszewska, A., 2018. “EU Equality Law after a Decade of Austerity: On the Social Pillar and its Transformative Potential.” International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 18(2-3), 162-192.

Kresal, B., Zbyszewska, A., 2017. “Through Work-Life-Family Reconciliation to Gender Equality? Slovenia and the United Kingdom’s Legal Frameworks Compared.” Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations (on Work Life Balance) vol 98, 155-182.

Zbyszewska, A. 2016. “Active Aging through Employment: A Critical Feminist Perspective on Polish Policy.” International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 32(4): 449-472.

—-. 2016. “Reshaping the European Working-time Regime: Towards a Sustainable Model.” European Labour Law Journal 7(3): 331-347.

—-. 2013. “The European Working Time Directive: Keeping the Long Hours with Gendered Consequences.” Women’s Studies Int. Forum, 39(1): 30-41.

—-. 2012. “Regulating Working Time in the Times of Crisis: Flexibility, Gender and the Case of Long Hours in Poland.” International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 28(4): 421-441.

Guest Editorials (Journals)

Arabadjieva, K., Budgda, A., Chacartegui, C., Tomasetti, P., Zbyszewska, A., 2023, “The Labour Environment Nexus – Exploring New Frontiers in Labour Law (Introduction)” in International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relation 39(3-4)(in press).

Zbyszewska, A. 2018. “Labour Law for a Warming World? Exploring the Intersections of Work Regulation and Environmental Sustainability – Guest Editorial” in Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 40(1).

Zbyszewska, A., Kullmann M., Blackham, A. 2018. “Scrutinizing the Standardized Worker: Critical and International Perspectives – Guest Editorial” in International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 34(4): 345-350.

Zbyszewska, A., Benedi Lahuerta, S. 2018. “Taking Stock of Twenty Years of EU Equality Law and Policymaking and Looking Ahead– Guest Editorial” in International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 18(2-3): 55-59.

Chapters in Edited Collections

Zbyszewska, A. 2023. “Environmental Racism at Work – Reflections from a Settler Colony of Canada.” In Direito Material e Processual do Trabalho: A Consumacao da Vida no Capitalismo. Maria C. Maximo Teodoro et al. Belo Horizonte, pp. 17-26.

Kullmann, M., Zbyszewska, A., Blackham, A. 2019. “Introduction” in Theorizing Labour Law in a Changing World: Towards an Inclusive Labour Law. Hart/Bloomsbury (August).

Zbyszewska, A., Routh, S. 2019. “‘Challenging Labour Law’s Productivist Focus: Insights from Research on Informal and Unpaid Work’ in Theorizing Labour Law in a Changing World: Towards Inclusive Labour Law, A. Blackham, M. Kullmann, A. Zbyszewska (eds.), Hart/Bloomsbury (August).

Zbyszewska, A. 2017. “Gendering Poland’s Crisis Response: A Europeanization Perspective” in Gender, Politics and the Crisis in Europe, ed. Johanna Kantola and Emanuela Lombardo, Palgrave, Gender and Politics Series.

—-. 2017. “Women in Research and Academic Labour Markets: Revisiting the Issue Ten Years On.” in Festskrift for Ann-Numhauser Henning. Juristforlaget, Lund.

Numhauser-Henning, A., Julén Votinius, J., Zbyszewska, A. 2017. “Equal Treatment and Age-discrimination – Inside and Outside Working Life” in Elder Law: Evolving European Perspectives, Edward Elgar.

Blackham, A., Kullmann, M., Petterson, H., Zbyszewska, A., 2017 “The Rationales of Government Action on Aging and the Extension of Working Lives” in Elder Law: Evolving European Perspectives, Edward Elgar.

Fudge, J., Zbyszewska, A., 2015. “An Intersectional Approach to Age Discrimination in EU Law: Bridging Dignity and Distribution.” In Age Discrimination and Labour Law, A. Numhauser-Henning & M. Ronnmar, eds., 141-163. Kluwer Law International.

Zbyszewska, A. 2014. “Visions of the Future: Imagining and Anticipating Tomorrow’s Working Hours from the North American Perspective.” In Factor of Time in the New Economy. Where are we Heading?” H. Strzeminska, ed., 58-75. Institute of Work and Social Matters: Warsaw.