The Anti-Globalization Paradox
15 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 7, 2012
In The Globalization Paradox, Dani Rodrik sets up what he calls a policy trilemma among hyperglobalization, democracy and autonomy. This trilemma is best understood as a tradeoff between national autonomy and rules that promote globalization. However, a contractual perspective on international law - recognizing that states use international law to make exchanges of policy autonomy in ways that enhance each consenting state’s welfare - suggests that there is no real tradeoff between national autonomy and international legal rules that promote globalization. Instead, these rules may be seen as an expression of national autonomy. Furthermore, international law does not necessarily need the same types of democratic credentials that national law requires, because states consent to international law through their national democratic processes. While there may indeed be an argument that there exists a democracy deficit in the formation of international law, this is a more subtle argument than the one Rodrik makes to the effect that international law can never have democratic credentials unless global democratic government is established. Globalization can take place through international legal rules that have appropriate democratic credentials, and that leave in place appropriate national autonomy.
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