Skip to main content
Book cover

International Labour Organization and Global Social Governance

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Offers a unique assessment of the role of the ILO in building avenues for global social governance by distinguished authors who have been involved in the core activities of the ILO or conducted research on them

  • Sets the pivotal work of the ILO World Commission of the Social Dimension of Globalisation which was co-chaired by President Tarja Halonen in the current global framework of work

  • Explores the role and relevance of the tripartite ILO, the UN's oldest agency, in social justice

  • Assesses the development of the ILO so as to pinpoint major steps that have advanced the work for a better labour life and labour standards

  • Examines major challenges to labour protection posed by globalization and transformation of work as well as ways that the ILO has promoted and could promote sustainable global social governance

Buy print copy

Softcover Book USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Table of contents (7 chapters)


About this book

This open access book explores the role of the ILO (International Labour Organization) in building global social governance from multiple and mutually complementary perspectives. It explores the impact of this UN´s oldest agency, founded in 1919, on the transforming world of work in a global setting, providing insights into the unique history and functions of the ILO as an organization and the evolution of workers’ rights through international labour standards stemming from its regulatory mechanism.

The book examines the persistent dilemma of balancing the benefits of globalization with the protection of workers. It critically assesses the challenges that emerge when international labour standards are implemented and enforced in highly diverse regulatory frameworks in international, regional, national and local contexts. The book also identifies feasible ways to achieve more inclusive labour protection, putting into perspective the tension between the economic and the social in the ILO’s second century of operation. It includes reflections on the work of the ILO World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation by Tarja Halonen, who as President of Finland co-chaired the Commission with Benjamin William Mkapa, President of Tanzania.

Written by distinguished experts and scholars in the fields of international labour law and international law, the book provides an insightful and in-depth analysis of the role of the ILO as an international organization devoted to decent work and social justice. It also sheds light on tripartism and its particular role in the work of the ILO, examining the challenges that a profoundly changing working life presents in terms of labour protection and social justice, and examining the transnational dimension of labour law. Lastly, the book includes a postscript by Nobel economics laureate Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Office of the President of the Republic of Finland, Helsinki, Finland

    Tarja Halonen

  • Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    Ulla Liukkunen

About the editors

President Tarja Halonen was the 11th President of the Republic of Finland (2000–2012) and Finland’s first female head of state. President Halonen is famous for her special ties with the core activities of the ILO. During 2002–2004, she co-chaired the ILO World Commission of the Social Dimension of Globalization. From March 2009 until September 2014, she served as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders. In August 2010, President Tarja Halonen was appointed co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. She was the co-chair of the High-Level Task Force for ICPD from 2012 to 2016. From 2015 to 2017, President Halonen served as a member of the World Bank World Development Report 2017 Advisory Group. She continues to promote issues related to sustainable development in her many other roles, including, as a member of Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Leadership Council, as a member of Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development and as a Chair of Lancet-SIGHT commission on Peaceful Societies through Health and Gender Equality. In Finland, she serves as the Chair of the Board of the University of Helsinki, is a member of the Board of SITRA and is also chairing the Board of the Finnish National Gallery.

Ulla Liukkunen is Professor of Labour Law and Private International Law at the University of Helsinki. She is also the Director of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture. Professor Liukkunen has published widely on labour law, private international law, comparative law, transnational law and the governance of the social dimension of globalization. She has led two Academy of Finland international labour law research projects, “ILO Core Labour Standards Implementation in China: Legal Architecture and Cultural Logic” and “Employee Participation and Collective Bargaining in the Era of Globalization – Nordic and Chinese Perspectives”. Professor Liukkunen has wide experience in national and EU law drafting and she has acted as an expert in several international projects on labour law and private international law. 

Bibliographic Information

Publish with us