The Concern with Non-concerns: For the End of Trade Dystopia
- 212 Downloads
Today’s trade involves all aspects of human life and challenges States sovereignty as much as it offers opportunities for growth and development. It is governed by norms of quasi-universal nature largely adopted and furthered during the past 70 years of existence of the GATT and its institutionalised successor, the WTO.
But what trade rules are we talking about? The law “as it is”? Is a purely positivist approach to trade law relevant while there is much more to trade than trade? What sort of international society does this technical trade law contribute to create or maintain? Far from the United Nations utopia for peace, trade law is fuelling a dystopia of unequals as conducive to the development of conflicts as it is prone to solve their technicalities on the basis of a long celebrated and now moribund Appellate Body.
The Dystopia created under the pressure of financial globalisation and justifying the existence of parallel international law regimes is not yet to end if trade lawyers refuse to question the nature of trade law and keep referring to what is not “mainstream” as “Non-Trade Concerns” (NTC). Written against the backdrop of an interrogation on the utopian/dystopian nature of the WTO regime, this short piece proposes to critically address the concern with “non-trade concerns” (1) and sketches the basis lines for possible change in calling for a political approach to international trade law (2).
- Alessandrini D (2010) Developing countries and the multilateral trade regime: the failure and promise of the WTOs’ development mission. Hart Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Petersmann EU (2013) Methodological pluralism and its critics in international economic law research. J Int Econ 15(4):921–970Google Scholar
- Piketty T (2020) Capital and ideology. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Rodrik D (2011) The globalization paradox, why global markets, states and democracy can’t coexist. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Shaffer GC, Melendez Ortiz R (eds) (2010) Dispute settlement at the WTO: the developing country experience. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Stiglitz J (2007) Making globalization work, the next steps to global justice, p xivGoogle Scholar
- Trachtman JP, Chantal T (eds) (2009) Developing countries in the WTO legal system. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar