'Introduction' to Resisting Economic Globalization: Critical Theory and International Investment Law
Resisting Economic Globalization: Critical Theory and International Investment Law (Palgrave Macmillan 2013)
39 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 8, 2013
There is at present much disenchantment with the rules governing international investment. Conceived as a set of disciplines establishing thresholds of tolerable state behavior, dissatisfaction with this regime has precipitated acts of resistance in many parts of the world.
"Resisting Economic Globalization" explores the magnitude of the legal constraints imposed by rules and institutions associated with the worldwide spread of neoliberalism. Much contemporary theorizing has given up on national states as a locus for countervailing the deleterious effects of economic globalization. Though states provide critical supports to the construction and ongoing maintenance of transnational legal constraints, the book argues that states remain crucial sites for resisting, even rolling back, these disciplines. Structured as a series of encounters with selected critical theorists, the book contrasts theoretical diagnoses with recent episodes of resistance responding to investment law’s edicts.
This approach tests contemporary hypotheses offered by leading political and legal theorists about the nature of power and the role of states and social movements in facilitating and undoing neoliberalism's legal edifices. As a consequence, the foundations of transnational legality become more apparent and the mechanisms for change more transparent. Change, however, will not be easily achieved.
This Introduction to the book takes up the Foucauldian-inspired concept of critical resistance, explores its relationship to Polanyian counter movement, and summarizes the book’s ensuing chapters.
Keywords: critical theory, international investment law, transnational law, globalization
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