Essays on the International Labour Organization and Its Impact on the World During the Twentieth Century
Edited By Jasmien Van Daele, Magaly Rodriguez Garcia and Geert van Goethem
1 Writing ILO Histories: A State of the Art 13
8=6EI:G Writing >AD Histories: A State of the Art Jasmien Van Daele Studying the history of the International Labour Organization (>AD) is desirable for several reasons. First, the >AD has been a trendsetter among international organizations in three different roles: as a standard setter (by creating labour standards via conventions and recommendations), as a technical assistance agency, and as an international centre of expertise on labour and work issues. Second, the organization was (and still is) unique in its tripartite structure. Whereas all other international organizations (such as the United Nations) consist exclusively of representatives of national states, the >AD brings together governments, employers and trade unions at all its levels of decision-making. This combined structure of governmen- tal and non-governmental constituents has remained unchanged up to the present day. Third, the >AD is the oldest international organization of the twentieth century. Founded in , the >AD celebrated its ninetieth year in . The organization was established as the first specialized agency within the League of Nations. But unlike the League, the >AD survived the Second World War and became part of the succeeding United Nations (JC) system. As one of the very few international organizations with such a lengthy and unbroken history, the >AD is an interesting research topic for historians. This chapter will review the existing literature on >AD history and draw the general evolution and the particular contours of ninety years of >AD historiography. Since the early days, a considerable body of literature has accumulated in many...
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