The Evolution of a Global Labor Governance Regime

Published on Apr 1, 2008in Governance
· DOI :10.1111/j.1468-0491.2008.00397.x
Anke Hassel21
Estimated H-index: 21
(Hertie School of Governance)
During the last decade, the approach by businesses and governments toward labor and social issues at the global level has fundamentally changed. Industrial relations are rapidly internationalizing by developing new actors and forms of governance to deal with the regulation of labor. This article looks at the evolution of self-regulatory standards in the global labor governance debate. Key is that notwithstanding problems with the lacking legal framework of global regulation and enforceability, patterns of local self-regulation, norm-setting, and international codes lead not only to higher expectations of the behavior of transnationally operating firms but also to an indirect pattern of regulation. The article argues that particularly the adoption of the core labor standards by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the setup of the Global Compact by the UN serve as points of convergence. A plethora of voluntarist initiatives that converge over time toward a shared understanding of labor standards is part of the transformation of global labor governance institutions.
  • References (34)
  • Citations (72)
Published on Aug 1, 2007in Comparative Political Studies3.19
Layna Mosley15
Estimated H-index: 15
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill),
Saika Uno1
Estimated H-index: 1
(ND: University of Notre Dame)
This article explores the impact of economic globalization on workers' rights in developing countries. The authors hypothesize that the impact of globalization on labor rights depends not only on the overall level of economic openness but also on the precise ways in which a country participates in global production networks. Using a new data set on collective labor rights, the authors test these expectations. Their analysis of the correlates of labor rights in 90 developing nations, from 1986 to...
Per-Olof Busch9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Potsdam),
Helge Jörgens16
Estimated H-index: 16
Kerstin Tews10
Estimated H-index: 10
(FU: Free University of Berlin)
During the 1990s, a new regulatory pattern in domestic environmental policy making emerged. This pattern is largely a result of policy diffusion. In the absence of formal obligations, regulatory instruments that have been communicated internationally and were already being practiced elsewhere were voluntarily emulated and adopted by policy makers. While the international promotion of regulatory instruments often facilitated their diffusion, the instruments’ characteristics determined the extent ...
Published on Jan 1, 2005
Caroline Lesser5
Estimated H-index: 5
Evdokia Moisé-Leeman2
Estimated H-index: 2
Published on Jan 1, 2007
David Vogel35
Estimated H-index: 35
Published on Jun 1, 2004in European Journal of International Law1.81
Philip Alston23
Estimated H-index: 23
The past decade has seen a transformation of the international labour rights regime based primarily on the adoption of the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the widespread use of the concept of 'core labour standards'. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm which has greeted these innovations, it is argued that the resulting regime has major potential flaws, including: an excessive reliance on principles rather than rights, a system which invokes principles that are ...
Published on Jan 1, 2004
Lone Riisgaard13
Estimated H-index: 13
Explores the campaign leading to the signing in 2001 of an international framework agreement (IFA) between the global banana enterprise Chiquita and the Latin American Coordination of Banana Workers Unions (COLSIBA). Shows how the banana workers unions employed innovative tactics of regional coordination and alliances with solidarity groups in the major consumer markets to achieve the agreement. Evaluates the implementation of the agreement and draws lessons for the potential of future IFAs.
Published on Sep 15, 2003
A. Claire Cutler8
Estimated H-index: 8
1. Introduction 2. Conceptualizing the role of law in the global political economy 3. Theorizing the role of law in the global political economy 4. Medieval Lex Mercatoria 5. State-building: constituting the public sphere and disembedding the private sphere 6. The modern law merchant and the Mercatocracy Conclusion: transnational merchant law and global authority: a crisis of legitimacy Bibliography.
Published on Mar 1, 2003in Policy Studies Journal3.92
Dara O'Rourke15
Estimated H-index: 15
A range of new nongovernmental systems for advancing labor standards and enforcement have emerged over the last 5 years. This article comparatively assesses these multistakeholder systems of codes of conduct and monitoring, discusses their underlying models of regulation, and proposes a set of criteria for evaluating their effectiveness, including their legitimacy, rigor, accountability, and complementarity. Critical issues are raised about the transparency of existing initiatives, independence ...
Published on Jan 1, 2003
Kimberly Ann Elliott15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Peterson Institute for International Economics),
Richard B. Freeman105
Estimated H-index: 105
Protesters now routinely fill the streets when any large, formal meeting dealing with international economic issues takes place. They express concern about the potential social and environmental costs of globalization and want negotiators to address these issues in trade agreements and international organizations. In addition, the debate over whether and how to link labor standards to trade has led to an impasse in American trade policy for much of the past decade and has tied the hands of US tr...
Cited By72
Published on May 8, 2019in Journal of Business Ethics3.80
Andreas Nölke14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UNIL: University of Lausanne),
Nicole Helmerich (UNIL: University of Lausanne), Cécile Prébandier (UNIL: University of Lausanne)
Little consensus exists about the effectiveness of transnational private governance in domains such as labor, the environment, or human rights. The paper builds on recent scholarship on labor standards to emphasize the role of labor agency in transnational private governance. It argues that the relationship between transnational private regulatory initiatives and labor agency depends on three competences: first, the ability of workers’ organizations to gain access to processes of employment regu...
Brent Burmester , Snejina Michailova26
Estimated H-index: 26
Christina Stringer10
Estimated H-index: 10
Modern slavery is a problem that international business (IB) research can no longer ignore. Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are often contributors to the persistence of modern slavery, by virtue of the regulatory challenge they pose to states and their insufficient oversight of supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to show that governance inadequacies with respect to modern slavery will be lessened if IB scholars give more attention to MNEs’ governing role within and beyond global value c...
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Journal of Business Ethics3.80
Sabrina Colombo3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Milan),
Marco Guerci11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Milan),
Toloue Miandar1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Milan)
The corporate social responsibility (CSR) and industrial relations (IR) studies have evolved mostly in parallel. In this paper, we integrate the IR with the CSR perspective, highlighting their similarities and differences. In particular, the study adopts a framework which includes a wide set of CSR-related issues to explore what unions and companies negotiate under the umbrella of CSR. It analyses and compares the national sectoral agreements of two key industries in the Italian economy, i.e. Me...
Published on Jan 12, 2019in Global Social Policy
Julia Drubel (University of Giessen)
Nation states, networks and international organisations provide huge amounts of quantified information on all fields of international politics. This is done in an effort to regulate them. Besides t...
Published on Jan 1, 2019
Jeroen Merk (Edin.: University of Edinburgh), Sabrina Zajak1
Estimated H-index: 1
(RUB: Ruhr University Bochum)
Social movements have become increasingly important in the regulation of working conditions in a context where the intensification of global economic integration, the consolidation of power in multinational enterprises, increased financialization and marketization, and recurrent economic crisis have undermined the capacity of trade unions to co-determine working conditions in transnational businesses. With unions and industrial modes of worker participation being under severe pressure, social mo...
Published on Apr 1, 2018in Human Relations3.37
Juliane Reinecke13
Estimated H-index: 13
Jimmy Donaghey15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Warw.: University of Warwick)
+ 1 AuthorsGeoff Wood1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Essex)
Global supply chains are not just instruments for the exchange of economic goods and flow of capital across borders. They also connect people in unprecedented ways across social and cultural boundaries and have created new, interrelated webs of social relationships that are socially embedded. However, most of the existing theories of work are mainly based at the level of the corporation, not on the network of relations that interlink them, and how this may impact on work and employment relations...
Published on Apr 1, 2018in Human Relations3.37
Huw Thomas1
Estimated H-index: 1
Huw Thomas , Peter Turnbull7
Estimated H-index: 7
The role of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the governance of global supply chains is typically neglected or simply dismissed as ineffective. This is understandable as global supply chains have undermined the traditional nation state (horizontal) paradigm of global labour governance, most notably the international Conventions agreed by the tripartite constituents (governments, employers and workers’ representatives) of the ILO. But this simply poses the question of whether, and if...
Published on Mar 1, 2018in British Journal of Industrial Relations1.98
Jimmy Donaghey15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Warw.: University of Warwick),
Juliane Reinecke13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Warw.: University of Warwick)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Industrial Democracy are two paradigmatic approaches to transnational labour governance. They differ considerably with regard to the role accorded to the representation of labour. CSR tends to view workers as passive recipients of corporate†led initiatives, with little attention paid to the role of unions. Industrial Democracy centres on labour involvement: those affected by governance need to be part of it. Examining the Bangladesh Accord and Alliance...