From a ‘moral commentator’ to a ‘determined actor’? How the International Labour Organization (ILO) orchestrates the field of international industrial relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


Collective action on the part of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has always been dependent on the ability of the International Labour Office, the permanent secretariat of the ILO, to orchestrate a consensus between the Organization’s tripartite constituents of Government, Employer and Worker representatives. This consensus fell with the Berlin Wall, prompting the Office to bypass states by engaging with external interactants in order to promote international labour standards and decent work. Most recently, in order to shift the emphasis from ‘moral commentary’ to ‘determined action’, the Office has reverted to managing states, albeit in the face of determined Employer counter-framing. Employer opposition, supported by several member States, cannot be underestimated, as any orchestration within the international industrial relations field is contingent on concerted action.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Oct 2020


  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • orchestration
  • international labour standards
  • collective action framing

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