How to Re-construct the Global Trade Order – Awaking a Normativity-aspiring Part of the Soul of the Global Citizens in the Time of Identity Politics and Sustainability
5 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 5, 2019
There are symptoms that the United States is likely to abandon its responsibility as an empire, i.e., as a leading guardian of the international trade order. It may be that a vacuum is about to come into being. The appearance of a new “authority” to fill in the “vacuum” is being awaited. Here it is reminded that two directions are already being perceived in the global community --- “the foregrounding of identity politics” on one hand (observable in many parts of the world including the United States) and “the rise of sustainability as an anchor of normativity” on the other (observable in the European Union and in the activities of NGOs). Interestingly these seemingly opposite directions are common in that actors’ motives are not materialistic interests but ideational interests. In order to stabilize the global political system, it is time for International Law (IL) scholarship to approach and stimulate a part of the soul of the global citizens, which cannot be fully covered by rational choice or materialistic interests. On the side of International Relations (IR) scholarship, constructivism, which admits that law may influence states through the process of their socialization and acculturation, is gradually gaining the ground. This constructivism’s epistemology may open a window of collaboration between IL and IR scholarships in the journey to awake the normativity-aspiring part of the soul of the global citizens.
The most successful/positive aspect of the WTO is to make sure that rule of law has been a norm in the governance of global trade. Rule of law makes sure that even small or middle powers are able to enjoy a reasonable size of breathing space in the ocean of global power politics. Therefore, it would be naturally conceivable that the above-mentioned journey is to be carried out by small and middle powers, together with other actors such as NGOs and International Organizations, with support of like-minded IL and IR scholarships. In this journey, soft law instruments may be effectively utilized to promote normativity to potential stakeholders.
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