Manifesto RLDWL


The undersigned invite all interested scholars to join an initiative to create an international network for Regional and Local Development of Work and Labour.

Globalisation and regional integration are a specific challenge for work and labour institutions which have been for many years mainly focussed on national problems and developments. Work and Labour are regarded as the Human Development Capital, where trade unions, employers and policy makers act as stakeholders. One of the purposes of the network is to promote - among employers, trade unionists and policy makers - a long-term view, where work and labour relations are not considered as costs and constraints, but rather as opportunities for fostering economic growth and welfare.

During the 11th World Congress of Industrial Relations in Bologna a workshop was organised on 24 September 1998 by the Istituto per il Lavoro, Bologna, on institutions in the field of work and labour research. The meeting was rather successful though only attended by dozen people. The participants agreed that it would be useful to intensify and enlarge these kinds of contacts on a regular base.

Though there are already a number of similar initiatives and associations concerned with work and labour like IREC, EGOS, IIRA, IPPC etc. these do not have a specific concern on regional and local development.


The network should fulfil at first hand the following objectives:

  1. to intensify information exchange on developments and initiatives in the respective countries or regions by companies, governments, unions, employers associations, etc;
  2. to exchange researchers, especially young researchers to get a better knowledge in the other countries, regions and fields;
  3. to develop common research and consulting initiatives including its implementation;
  4. to organise yearly conferences,
  5. to support the fostering of intermediate institutions in the different parts of the world;
  6. to promote the humanisation of work, social cohesion and democracy;
  7. to exchange experience and knowledge between academia, social actors and policy makers.


Methods of co-operation will be among others:

  1. Seminars on specific subjects which will be organized by the members.
  2. Mobility of researchers with research stays for individual promotion and qualification or within common research projects.
  3. Thematic Networks as - e.g. defined by the European Commission - are an excellent method for closer co-operation and at the same time getting supplementary funding.
  4. Common research projects and comparative studies are the most demanding perspective to be developed. A better personal knowledge of the persons involved and of the developments in different parts of the world will be helpful.


This network should not have a bureaucratic structure, but rather be a light organisation with a rotating secretariat. Information exchange could be managed with a newsletter by email, and a homepage. The secretariat will be located at the Istituto per il Lavoro, Bologna/Italy.


  1. Every member covers the basic costs of the network by himself.
  2. Applications for funding will be made by joint initiatives for specific activities, seminars, mobility, projects, thematic networks etc.
  3. The European Commission will double the budget for training and research mobility within the 5th Framework Programme for Research; for socio-economic evaluation of all projects 10 % of the total amount will be reserved.
  4. Membership fees will be decided during the next meeting.


  • A first seminar was organized by the Istituto per il Lavoro, Bologna, in Ravello/Italy, from 17 to 19 October 1999.
  • There will be organised two sessions of the nextwork during the 12th World Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association in Tokyo from 29 May to 2 June 2000.
  • The next conference will be held in November 2000 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; the following in 2001 in Taiwan. Other invitations have been pronounced for India, the USA and Japan.


  • Institutional and individual members from all over the world, active in the field, are welcome. By-laws will be presented before the next conference.