Imagining Post ‘Geneva Consensus’ Labor Law for Post ‘Washington Consensus’ Development
30 Pages Posted: 16 May 2010
Date Written: May 14, 2010
This paper argues that there exists a “Geneva Consensus” about the necessary content, and processes, of the international labour law of the ILO. The parallel to the Washington Consensus is intentional. Development theory has abandoned the Washington Consensus for reasons which have important, but as yet unexplored, implications for international labour law. Development theorists have come to see that the deepest problem lies not in the word “Washington” but in the very idea of a “Consensus”. The paper also argues that labour faces an “identify crisis” about its true scope and purpose which makes the need for a re-evaluation of the idea of a Geneva “Consensus” all the more pressing. The paper sketches a philosophical account of the demise of the very idea of a consensus, whether about development in general or labour law in particular. Some of the general methodological and substantive implications for the ILO of the abandonment of the idea of a “Consensus” are discussed.
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