Assessing Legitimate Structures for the Making of Transnational Labour Law: The Durability of Corporatism
Posted: 4 Apr 2008
Date Written: December 2006
In recent years, there has been greater scrutiny of the legitimacy of governance within international and regional institutions and an emerging interest in deliberative democracy. This paper examines the potential impact of these trends on the survival of current mechanisms for the making of transnational labour law, which may be thought to reflect corporatist rather than pluralist or deliberative practices. We focus on two examples: the tripartite constitutional foundation of the International Labour Organisation, which ensures that employer and worker representatives share in standard-setting alongside government representatives, and the predominantly bipartite process of social dialogue between management and labour for the formulation of European Community social policy. Despite significant differences in approach, both organisations have chosen to prioritise participation by trade unions and employer representatives within designated bargaining structures that are ostensibly designed to achieve some balance in their relative influence' however, the reasons for this preference have not always been apparent. This paper investigates how corporatist structures have been adapted for application at the international and European level, and seeks to analyse their potential for legitimacy, and thereby their durability.
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