Comparing the various ways of improving labour standards internationally, critically assess the best method. Give specific examples. This essay asks you to critically weigh the effectiveness of different methods of improving international labour standards (Lectures on international labour standards). A distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ law should be made and you should provide a clear definition on what international labour standards are. When evaluating the ‘best’ method, consider whether this approach would hurt companies and nation state’ competitiveness as often argued by MNCs and countries in the Global South. Different methods of improving labour standards are: State regulation; linking labour standards to international trade agreements, e.g. through the WTO; multilateral institutions, such as the EU (Lecture 12) or the ILO and international laws; or different versions of private, voluntary self-regulation, such as corporate codes of conduct and international certification and reporting systems, with or without trade unions and NGOs (non-governmental organisations). The essay could either argue for the need for enforceable ‘hard’ law, for private voluntary schemes, or for a combination of approaches. Provide specific examples. Draw on the key and further readings of the lectures and seminars, and find additional sources. You can complement the reading list with sources written in your main mother tongue as long as they relate to HRM and/or ER. Recommended Journals (available through the library website electronically) • British Journal of Industrial Relations • European Journal of Industrial Relations • International Journal of Human Resource Management • Industrial Relations Journal • Socio-Economic Review • Human Relations • Business and Politics • Regional Studies • Review of International Political Economy • Third World Quarterly • Work, Employment and Society • Economic and Industrial Democracy • Economic Geography Minimum 10 Harvard References
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