Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies Major in European Studies

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies


College of Liberal Arts


International Studies

Thesis Advisor

Alfredo C. Robles, Jr

Defense Panel Chair

Charmaine M. Willoughby

Defense Panel Member

Cleo Anne A. Calimbahin
Elaine C. Tolentino


The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 is deemed by policymakers and scholars alike as one of the most important international agreements ever adopted. On top of consolidating existing maritime labour conventions, the MLC also introduces innovations to strengthen a trillion-dollar global industry that employs millions of seafarers. But despite the astounding relevance of this new instrument, the negotiations leading up to its adoption took many fundamental elements of the regime—minimum age, training and qualification, and recruitment and placement, among others—for granted. Furthermore, much of the academic literature on maritime labour heavily draws analysis from a regulatory or sociocultural perspective. Thus, there is a need to trace the origins of these regulations to shed light on the politics behind the maritime labour regime. Using the neo-Gramscian approach, the thesis investigates how pre-employment requirements within the regime have formed and evolved in response to changing social forces, forms of state, and world orders. The study argues that two sets of actors that are split along different lines—developing and developed countries on the one hand, and seafarers and shipowners on the other—vacillate between prioritizing the promotion of human rights of seafarers and levelling the playing field in support of fair competition. The main findings suggest that although standards, regulations, and policies can change quickly, the higher-order norms and principles may take more time to modify. Moreover, the maritime labour regime does not eliminate contradictions between actors even as it offers frameworks for negotiations. In spite of the consensus at the level of world order, disagreement is still possible and, in fact, frequent between States, employers, and workers on a particular issue, and change in a particular issue area is still possible even if the consensus on world order remains unchanged.

Abstract Format






Physical Description

176 leaves


Navigation—History; Merchant mariners—Legal status, laws, etc.

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