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The Future of the International Labour Organization in the Global Economy


ISBN13: 9781849465021
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £53.00



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The International Labour Organization was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice. As the oldest organization in the UN system, approaching its 100th birthday in 2019, the ILO faces unprecedented strains and challenges.

Since before the financial crisis, the global economy has tested the limits of a regulatory regime which was designed in 1919. The Organization's founders only charged it with balancing social progress with the constraints of an interconnected open economy, but gambled almost entirely on the tools of persuasion to ensure that this would happen. Whether that gamble is still capable of paying-off is the subject of this book, by a former ILO insider with an unrivalled knowledge of its work.

The book forms part of a broader inquiry into the relevance of founding institutional principles to today's context, and strives to show that the bet made on persuasion may yet pay off. In part, the text argues that there may be little alternative anyway, showing that the pathways to more binding solutions are fraught with difficulty. It also shows the ILO's considerable future potential for promoting effective, universal regulations by extending its tools of persuasion in as -yet insufficiently explored directions.

Starting with an examination of the how the organization's institutional context differs from 93 years ago, the author goes on to evaluate the prospects of numerous proposals put forward today, including the trade/labour linkage, but going beyond this.

As a case study in how strategic choices can be made under legal, social and institutional constraints, the book should be valuable not only to those with an interest in the ILO, but to anyone who studies international organization, labour law, law and society, or political economy.

Subjects:
Employment Law
Contents:
Introduction: Whither the ILO’s Second Century? Persuasion at its Limits in the Global Economy

Part I Ninety Years of Transformations in the International System: Challenges Posed to ILO Persuasiveness
1. The Cold War and the trente glorieuses, a Not-Quite Golden Age for the ILO and its Persuasiveness
2. Globalisation Ascendant: The ILO’s raison d’être Restored – But the Gamble on Persuasion Nearly Lost
3. Have Recent Efforts at Institutional Renewal Already Fallen Behind the Pace of Change in the Economic Environment?

Part II The Proliferation of Multilateral Actors and the Challenge of Coherence
4. Social Goals: Doomed to Remain ‘Country Cousins’ of Economic Objectives at the Universal Level?
5. Employment: Functional ‘Common Ground’ or Policy Fault-line?
6. Boosting the ILO’s Capacity to Promote Coherence

Part III ILO Influence and the Enduring Demand for Universal ‘Rules of the Game’
7. From the Impasse of the Social Clause Debate to the Delimitation of Fundamental Rights at Work as Shared ‘Rules of the Game’
8. Can the Social ‘Rules of the Game’ be Made More Effective by Linking Them to Basic Trade Rules?
9. Decentralised Linkages: A Mixed Blessing for the ILO?

Part IV The ‘Market for Social Justice’ to the Rescue of The ILO’s Persuasive Capacities?
10. A Lopsided ‘Market for Social Justice’ Calling for Public Involvement
11. Meeting Transnational Demand with a Transnational Supply: A Jointly Established Labelling System
Conclusion: Reinventing the ILO?