Document Type


Publication Date



Governance, labour law


This essay explores how such “governance by knowledge” interacts with international law’s “governance by norm,” through a case study of the World Bank’s Doing Business project and the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s responses to it. I contend that Doing Business ultimately rests on “bad science,” and thus offers a potent illustration of the power wielded by actors who claim “technical” knowledge. I argue that those who fail to engage with the technicalities of the knowledge claims that ground projects like Doing Business, and who instead meet such projects primarily through the idiom of (international) legal normativity, may have already lost the battle for influence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Abbreviation

AJIL Unbound