Where Symbolism Prospers: An Analysis of the Impact on Enabling Rights of Labour Standards Provisions in Trade Agreements with South Korea

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Where Symbolism Prospers: An Analysis of the Impact on Enabling Rights of Labour Standards Provisions in Trade Agreements with South Korea


  • Gerda Van Roozendaal Department of International Relations and International Organization, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen, The Netherlands


Abstract  Can trade agreements be used as a tool for improving the conditions under which people work? The evidence from this study suggests this is not the case, even if the country in question—in this instance South Korea—is a well-developed and democratic country. While over the past six years South Korea has taken part in a number of Free Trade Agreements containing labour provisions, the impact of these on enabling rights has been rather low. This would suggest that without the willingness to enforce these parts of the agreements, or without the willingness to implement them on the Korean side, the inclusion of such provisions remains a fairly symbolic undertaking.


Keywords  Free Trade Agreements; labour; labour standards; South Korea; trade


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/pag.v5i4.1087


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