Past and Future Work at the International Labour Organization: Labour as a Fictitious Commodity, Countermovement and Sustainability

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Abstract

This article analyses past and future work at the International Labour Organization (ILO) with reference to the transformational analysis offered by Karl Polanyi, examining how constitutional statements made through ILO Declarations reflect countermovement to market dominance. These policy shifts at the ILO are also analysed in relation to the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic and social), which arguably map onto Polanyi’s three fictitious commodities (with a focus on labour as emblematic of social concerns). It is argued that the emphasis on social justice and sustainability in the 2019 ILO Global Commission Report, including the proposal for a Universal Labour Guarantee, provides significant resistance to the economic orthodoxy regarding the future of work promoted by the World Bank Group and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). However, this narrative of ILO countermovement also exposes a lack of balanced regulation which requires more inclusive voice on the global stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-40
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Organizations Law Review
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date18 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020

Structured keywords

  • LAW Centre for Law at Work
  • ILO
  • Voice
  • Countermovement
  • Fictitious Commodities
  • Labour
  • Sustainability
  • Work
  • Future

Keywords

  • ILO
  • Voice
  • Countermovement
  • Fictitious Commodities
  • Labour
  • Sustainability
  • Work
  • Future

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