© 2012

Human Rights, Development and Decolonization

The International Labour Organization, 1940–70

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    1. Daniel Maul
      Pages 1-16
  3. Prologue: Separate worlds — The ILO and “native labour”, 1919–39

  4. “A People’s Peace in the Colonies”, 1940–47

  5. The Tools of Progress: The ILO, 1948–60

  6. A Growing Conflict: Development, Human Rights and Decolonization, 1960–70

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 303-412

About this book


An innovative diplomatic and intellectual history of decolonization, post-colonial nation building and international human rights and development discourses, this study of the role of the ILO during 1940–70 opens up new perspectives on the significance of international organisations as actors in the history of the 20th century.


Cold War colonialism colonization decolonization history human rights IGH intellectual history International Organisations international organizations social policy

About the authors

DANIEL ROGER MAUL 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.

Bibliographic information


'Abreak-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 crafted, 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

'This is a rich history for scholars of human rights, international organizations, and development, tightly focused on the ILO but not trapped in the halls of its secretariat.' - Roland Burke, La Trobe University, American Historical Review