The history of the deparment of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations in the Faculty of Political Science dates back to the year 1960 when Prof. Dr. Cahit Talas who was the preeminent scholar of the Faculty and the former minister of labour founded the chair of Social Policy. With the foundation of the Higher Education Council in the post-1980 as part of the restructuring process of higher education, the chair of Labour Law and Social Policy was transformed into the four years undergraduate program under the title of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations. Ever since then, as the youngest department of the Faculty, Labour Economics and Industrial Relations has held the status of the highest rated labour economics department in Turkey following the university entrance examinations. Our department consists of the four chairs successively as Labour Economics, Labour Law and Social Security, Psychology of Work and Organisation and Sociology of Work and Organisation. The department runs both the undergraduate and graduate programs, the latter of which delivers MSC, PhD and joint PhD degrees and is proceeded by Ankara University Graduate School of Social Sciences. The instruction language is Turkish.

The department of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations has, for more than fifty years, contributed to the grounding of the notion and disciplin of social policy in Turkey by working out the peculiar problems of work life researching its social, psychological, economic and judicial dimensions. The mission of our department is closely to do with the strict and broad terms of social policy. In the strict sense, our department focuses on the academic knowledge production in order to harmonise the industrial relations and raise administrative workforce that the institutional infrastructure needs for establishin and maintaining harmonic industrial relations. In the broad sense, our department aims to develop policy-based academic approaches and reforms with a view to socially including the disadvantaged groups of labour market such as elder and disabled people and other excluded groups of women, children, immigrants and prisoners. Moreover, in relation to the contemporary debates and problems of social policy as a result of globalisation and regional instability, our department also focuses on the policy-based academic knowledge production and debates in order to understand and explain the recent fields of “social question” in Turkey as such: the governmentality of human resources and skilled workforce, the issues of immigration and the integration of immigrants into labour market and the problem of crime and social control.