Constructing and Consolidating the Standard Employment Relationship in International Labour Regulation
This chapter traces the evolution of the SER as the baseline of international labour regulation in the interwar and post‐World War II periods. It reviews the SER's central pillars—the bilateral employment relationship, standardized working time, and continuous employment—and analyses their construction in ILO regulations. This discussion highlights the significance of exclusions in the creation of this employment norm. It also shows how even as the SER materialized for many working‐class men, the gender contract with which it was intertwined began to deteriorate. Regulations adopted in response to this crumbling gender contract starting in the 1950s sought to strip the SER of its formal exclusions. With the notable exception of those based on nationality, formal equality was the objective of interventions, but, by neglecting processes of social reproduction, ILO regulations retained an employment norm geared to male citizens as a baseline.
Keywords: bilateral employment relationship, citizenship, continuous employment, formal equality, gender contract, ILO, interwar period, nationality, post‐World War II period, social reproduction, standardized working time
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