A Development-Driven Post WTO World
15 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019 Last revised: 5 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 9, 2019
This paper argues that overcoming the current disintegration of international economic relations would require a pluralist world order. By this, we mean a world order where economic integration and interdependence commands some common normative and institutional features, but not through a unitarian project as the WTO had envisioned. The international economic law system has always included some pluralism. The WTO attempted to bring in a more unified system and succeeded to some extent, but also generated a significant measure of discontent in the process. De facto pluralism has now taken hold in many ways, both in trade and investment law. While the WTO is viewing such developments with some angst, we argue that pluralism creates opportunities to preserve a law-based international economic law system. However, a stable and fair pluralist system would require architectural coherence and a legitimate normative bedrock. This paper explores what forms pluralism could take, institutionally and normatively.
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