The Role of Labour Standards in DevelopmentFrom theory to sustainable practice?

The Role of Labour Standards in DevelopmentFrom theory to sustainable practice?

Tonia Novitz and David Mangan

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780197264911

Publisher: British Academy


This book examines the multi-faceted ways in which labour standards can play a role in the achievement of development. A variety of critical perspectives are presented here, with contributions from a number of different disciplines, including law, politics, and economics. The book begins by considering potential theoretical connections between work and development, acknowledging controversy over how the latter should be approached, interpreted, and rendered ‘sustainable’. The remainder of the collection is devoted to an analysis of the part that protection of labour standards can play in developmental terms, with reference to concrete issues: anti-discrimination, child labour, trade relations, and social dialogue. The book's final chapter reflects on how theory has been and could be put into practice. The theme that transcends all the contributions to this collection is that of human agency. The authors are not merely interested in the realisation of an individual person's ‘functioning’ in society (which development will assist), but also with the ways that people can be engaged in the very process of defining what development aims should and can be. They do not wish to see economic, social, and environmental development objectives as being determined by technical experts and implemented according to their prescriptions. Rather, they consider development in procedural as well as substantive terms, and in participatory as well as material terms.

Table of Contents

Part I Theoretical connections between work and development

Part II Addressing social exclusion and discrimination

Part III Child poverty and child labour as an obstruction to development

7 Child labour*

Surya Deva

Part IV Development through trade and/or aid?

Part V Achieving development through social dialogue, corporate social responsibility and other participatory strategies

An afterword*

Rolph Van Der Hoeven

End Matter