Human Rights, Development and Decolonization. The International Labour Organization, 1940–70

"A break-through in historical scholarship on international politics in the twentieth century in general and on the role of international organizations, human rights and development in particular. It is immensely gratifying to see this excellent book appear in English translation, which makes it available to the large international audience it deserves. A carefully drafted, well-written study, the book will become a standard work for scholars and students in history, political science, human rights and development studies." – Corinna R. Unger, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

"This excellent book offers fresh insights into the complex field of international social policy. After difficult beginnings the International Labour Organization became "a world en miniature", within which a new state order with new nations and new ideas, hopes, and claims for freedom and human rights emerged in the decades after World War II. The ILO shaped the process of decolonization in manifold ways and, as Daniel Maul shows on the basis of much new evidence, helped to establish a discourse of global responsibility."
- Andreas Eckert, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Germany

The significance of international organizations as historical actors is one of the least researched aspects twentieth-century history. Daniel Maul's study of the role of the ILO during the core phase of decolonization (1940 to 1970) opens up new perspectives on the topic. Clearly presented, methodologically innovative and based on a wide range of sources, the book makes clear the multifarious ways in which the ILO contributed, both as a political hub and a forum for debate and as an independent actor, to the debates which accompanied the dissolution of the European colonial empires and the processes of post-colonial nation-building that followed. Maul takes an innovative look at the history of decolonization, post-colonial nation-building and the enduringly relevant international human rights and development discourses that these processes spawned.

Co-published with Palgrave Macmillan as part of the ILO Century Series.

About the author:
Daniel Roger Maul is Lecturer in the Department of History, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany, and has published widely on the history of globalization and international organizations. He is currently working on a history of international relief in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.