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Problems of governance of a globalised industry: the case of the enforcement of international regulations on seafarers' health and safety, welfare and training

Prof Michael Bloor
Universities of Glasgow and Cardiff

Date: 25 November 2008
Time: 1-2:30pm
Venue: CARR Seminar Room, H615

Abstract
The shipping industry has been transformed more than any other traditional industry by globalising economic processes and there is now effectively a single global labour market for the world's one million seafarers. It might be thought a 'critical case' for the effective governance other emerging globalised industries. There is an extensive international regulatory framework embracing UN agencies (the International Maritime Organisation, the International Labour Organisation) and regional bodies (the European Commission, the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port-State Control) and enforcement has partially embraced a 'smart regulation' approach, seeking to create incentives that encourage operators to take active steps that to comply with international standards. The paper will draw on an ESRC-funded cross-national (UK-India-Russia) study of port-State inspections and a current study of seafarer training to list some of the main difficulties in effective global governance of international labour standards. In particular, the paper draws attention to the difficulties consequent to the contracting out of the labour supply, difficulties in local 'regulatory character' and inconsistencies in inspection practices.

About the speaker
Michael Bloor has part-time appointments at the Centre for Drug Misuse Research at the University of Glasgow and the Seafarers International Research Centre at Cardiff University. He is a sociologist whose interests in risk behaviour have broadened to the governance of risk. He was seconded to the International Labour Office's delegation to the Joint Maritime Commission meeting which produced the 'Geneva Accord' on labour standards in the shipping industry.

 

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