Justice in a globalizing world : resolving conflicts involving workers rights beyond the nation state

Part of book or chapter of book, Research English OPEN
FUDGE, Judy ; MUNDLAK, Guy (2013)
  • Publisher: Cambridge University
  • Subject: Globalization | European Union | K | Posted workers | World Trade Organization | Labour law | Social dumping

This paper focuses on two examples – first, the imposition of tariffs on tires made in China and exported to the United States, which culminated in a decision of World Trade Organization’s (WTO) appellate body to uphold the US tariffs, and, second, the development of the European law, especially the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, on posted workers in the context of public procurement – in which labour concerns transcend the nation state’s borders and the relevant agents (states, municipalities, NGOs, trade unions, employers, industry associations) are in conflict outside the familiar space of the nation state. The examples refer to different markets – goods and capital, on the one hand, and services and labour, on the other, and they operate on different scales, the international in one case and the transnational (or regional) in the other. They also focus on qualitatively different governance regimes, which involve different constellations of political and social actors and different relationships between economic and social/political integration. Drawing on Fraser’s discussion of “abnormal justice”, a situation in which the traditional discourse and grammar of justice are being doubted, the paper juxtaposes the case studies in order to highlight three political dilemmas (“what”, “who”, and “how”) that arise in the context of abnormal justice and to illustrate how these dilemmas are interconnected. Although both cases exemplify the “what” question, the paper emphasizes the “who” and “how” dimensions of justice, arguing that if the process for resolving the conflict is fair, inclusive, and dynamically open to challenges, then its outcomes on distributive justice are more likely to be considered legitimate and persuasive.
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