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Epiphytic Economics and the Politics of Place

Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, Vol. 10, pp. 1-61, 2001

61 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2013  

James Ming Chen

Michigan State University - College of Law

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

A specter is haunting academia, the specter of globalization. In Globalization and Its Losers, an essay published in the winter 2000 issue of the Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, I described legal and economic integration across borders as an epochal moment for a broad array of ecological, cultural, and economic interests. The summer 2000 issue of this journal published replies by two historians, an agricultural ethicist, and an advocate of regional self-reliance. At their mildest, my critics accused me of misusing Darwinian metaphors and of misconstruing the agricultural stake in international economic disputes. At their most vehement, my critics accused me of arrogance, intolerance, and even totalitarian proclivities.

Because this debate has now spanned three issues of this journal, I shall restate my own position as well as those of my critics. Globalization and Its Losers rested on simple premises but reached tough normative conclusions. Globalization increases total wealth. Like any other change in the terms and conditions of economic interaction, however, globalization has also shifted wealth and political power. There are, in short, winners and losers. Moreover, globalization often pits environmental, cultural, and labor interests not only against the international legal norm of free trade, but also against each other.

Suggested Citation

Chen, James Ming, Epiphytic Economics and the Politics of Place (2001). Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, Vol. 10, pp. 1-61, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2255126

James Ming Chen (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

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