Eight Ways to Think About International Labour Standards
Journal of World Trade, Vol. 31, pp. 27-53, 1997
27 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2008
It is clear that there is no consensus about how to think about labour standards, even when narrowed to the core. Part of the problem is that there are simply too many available arguments. All too often arguments of one sort are met with a reply based on a completely different set of concerns. As a result, debate is not joined. Using Hirschman (1991) as a guide and Davidson (1984) as the inspiration, several sorts of arguments are separated, often deployed in connection with international labor standards debates: (1) the human rights argument, (2) efficiency arguments, (3) collective action arguments, (4) arguments from sovereignty, (5) pragmatic arguments, (6) arguments from policy consistency, (7) institutional arguments, and (8) rock bottom arguments. Each argument is discussed in detail.
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