The international labour standards regime: A case study in global regulation

Nigel Haworth, Stephen Hughes, Rorden Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) consistent rejection of proposals for the inclusion of a social clause into its existing rules and regulations has prompted the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to examine alternative ways in which global consensus on the regulation of labour standards can be developed. In this paper we map the failure of the social clause debate by reference to the outcome of successive WTO ministerials and we examine the role of executive leadership and related epistemic activity in the development of the international labour standards regime (ILSR). We conclude that the switch to a focus on a regime of core labour standards provides the most promising platform for progress in labour protection and an influential outcome in placing the ILO at the heart of attempts to integrate social policy into global economic governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1953
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


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