Epiphytic Economics and the Politics of Place
James Ming Chen
Michigan State University - College of Law
Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, Vol. 10, pp. 1-61, 2001
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 61
Date posted: April 23, 2013