Conceptualizing Transnational Labour Law

Adelle Blackett & Anne Trebilcock, eds., Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law (Edward Elgar, 2015)

30 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2017

See all articles by Adelle Blackett

Adelle Blackett

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Anne Trebilcock


Date Written: February 2, 2017


This book, including this introductory chapter, is structured to interrogate each of the components of transnational labour law (TLL): its characterization as law, its relationship to 'labour' and 'labour law' and its 'transnational' character. Each component raises points of convergence and disjuncture with the past. For although TLL has risen in response to the period of globalization, this handbook suggests that its roots lie in earlier moments, like 1919, when concerned actors sought to address the challenges inherent to the affirmation that 'the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labour is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries'. TLL builds on the multiple, and largely mutually reinforcing, accounts of its past, but also loosens the grip both of a unitary, centralizing framing of the 'sovereign nation state,' however tripartite its conception, as the sole responsible actor; and of an accompanying exclusively statist understanding of law.

This draft chapter has been published by Edward Elgar Publishing in Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law by Adelle Blackett and Anne Trebilock published in 2015.

Keywords: Transnational Labour Law, Human Rights, Workers Rights, Corporate Governance, Due Diligence, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Structural Adjustment, International Financial Institutions, Social Regionalism.

Suggested Citation

Blackett, Adelle and Trebilcock, Anne, Conceptualizing Transnational Labour Law (February 2, 2017). Adelle Blackett & Anne Trebilcock, eds., Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law (Edward Elgar, 2015), Available at SSRN:

Adelle Blackett (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
(514) 398-5096 (Phone)


Anne Trebilcock

Independent ( email )

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