Call for Papers: 'Labour is Not a Commodity', Today: The Value of Work and its Rules between Innovation and Tradition

Dear Friends and Readers,

The X international conference on the new Great Transformation of Work is organized in partnership with the ILO and CIELO Laboral Network and under the auspices of the World Employment Confederation (WEC).

The ILO and the International School of Higher Education in Labor and Industrial Relations of ADAPT therefore invite professors, researchers, PhD students, professionals and all those who have interest in the conference topics, from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, to present their contributions. They will help examine from an international and comparative perspective, the practical implication that the principle ‘labour is not a commodity’ has had, or will have, on their work.

This year’s conference follows up from the last events promoted by ADAPT, during which the values underpinning work and the consideration that work is itself rewarding were discussed. The 100th anniversary of the ILO brings to mind this critical dimension, with the principle that ‘labour is not a commodity’ that is brought to the fore again, as it has inspired labour legislation in both developing and developed countries. In Kaufman’s words, this implies that “society has a legitimate and compelling rationale for using laws and institutions to modify or replace terms and conditions of employment that are inhumane, anti-social or in violation of basic human rights” (B. Kaufman, Il principio essenziale e il teorema fondamentale delle relazioni industriali, in DRI, 2006, pp. 1107-1133).

Following a tradition now established within the International School of ADAPT, as evidenced by the previous editions of the Conference (The Great Transformation of Work, 2015; The Future of Work: A Matter of Sustainability, 2016; Industry 4.0: Triggering Factors and Enabling Skills, 2017; Professionality, Employment Contracts and Collective Bargaining in the Context of Social Innovation, 2018), emphasis will be given to the occupational transitions of individuals and stakeholders, an aspect which has been discussed at length in the ILO report referred to before. This will be the starting point to deliver a model through which workers’ professionality is valued and safeguarded, moving beyond the obsolete distinctions and contrapositions that have long marked reflections on labour.

Participation in the conference is free. To register for the conference, fill out the online form.

Abstracts shall be sent via the following email address:, indicating “Abstract Bergamo” in the subject line.

The best papers presented at the conference will be selected and, depending on the topic, evaluated for publication in Professionalità Studi, Diritto delle Relazioni Industriali, and E-Journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies. Editors will also consider for publication the papers by those who are unable to attend the conference but are willing to provide their contribution just the same.

Abstract submission: Sep 13, 2019