Trade, Labour and Sustainable Development

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Trade, Labour and Sustainable Development

Leaving No One in the World of Work Behind

9781786430526 Edward Elgar Publishing
Tonia Novitz, Professor of Labour Law, University of Bristol Law School, UK
Publication Date: April 2024 ISBN: 978 1 78643 052 6 Extent: c 396 pp
Examining the relationship between trade and labour regulation in light of the pressing need to promote sustainable development, Tonia Novitz interrogates how international legal architecture could be reformed so that no one in the world of work gets left behind. She highlights the dangers of pursuing labour and environmental issues on parallel tracks without recognising how they interact, ultimately arguing for the crafting of the content and application of trade rules through participatory processes, which involve the inclusive representation of all sectors of the labour market and all parts of the world.

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Examining the relationship between trade and labour regulation in light of the pressing need to promote sustainable development, Tonia Novitz interrogates how international legal architecture could be reformed so that no one in the world of work gets left behind. She highlights the dangers of pursuing labour and environmental issues on parallel tracks without recognising how they interact, ultimately arguing for the crafting of the content and application of trade rules through participatory processes, which involve the inclusive representation of all sectors of the labour market and all parts of the world.

This timely book explores the potential promise of economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, alongside the concrete limitations evident at the International Labour Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization. The author interrogates the capacity for regional trade arrangements to operate in innovative ways, considering the European Union (EU) as a case study. Novitz further considers how corporate governance could be regulated to promote sustainable development in trade supply chains.

Expansive in scope, this book will be a vital read for scholars and students in the fields of labour, trade, company and EU law, as well as politics and international relations. It will also assist policy makers and officials connected to international organisations and regional trade institutions.
Critical Acclaim
‘In this superb and highly original work of scholarship Professor Novitz engages critically, creatively and comprehensively with the protection of labour standards in the context of international trade and global supply chains. In doing so from the perspective of sustainable development, she makes a powerful case for better and more effective trade regulation, while also providing a rich vein of material for all those working to eliminate exploitation and inequality for the benefit of current and future generations.’
– K.D. Ewing, King''s College London, UK

‘Providing compelling insights on how to pursue equality, decent work and environmental sustainability under globalized trade, the innovative analysis of Tonia Novitz specifies crucial
interactions and interconnections between institutions that regulate environmental and labor standards. The result is a must-read book for those interested in sustainability, democratic inclusion and labor rights in a globalized era. The excellent analysis draws on a rich examination of hard and soft law as well as multi-level governance, yielding major implications for scholars and public actors.’
– Julia López López, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

‘The product of many years’ engagement with the topic by a world-leading scholar of labour law and international law, this book offers an eloquent, nuanced and authoritative account of how to realise the promise of a “sustainable development” approach to the regulation of the trade and labour linkage.’
– Ruth Dukes, University of Glasgow, UK
Contents
Contents:
1 An introduction to trade, labour and sustainable development
2 Reconciling three rationales for protection of labour
standards in sustainable trade
3 A sustainable role for the International Labour
Organization in regulating trade?
4 International economic institutions, their treatment of
labour and aspirations for sustainable development
5 Regional trade regulation and labour standards:
a European Union case study
6 Sustainable regulation of corporate conduct in global
supply chains?
7 Conclusion: preconditions for realising the promise of
sustainable development
Bibliography
Index
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