Anti-Enlightenment in International Business and Trade Laws: A U.S.- E.U. Comparison
Journal of International Business and Law: Vol. 19: Iss. 2, Article 4. 162-207 (2020)
47 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2022
Date Written: 2020
After the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the U.S. and the success of authoritarian, far-right leaders in certain countries in the E.U., the legal framework of international trade changed drastically. This article elaborates on this phenomenon by highlighting the effect of the Western anti-Enlightenment tradition, a tradition containing diffuse elements like ethnocentrism, overt nationalism and Social Darwinism on international business and trade rules in the U.S. and Europe. As many elements of this tradition work against international cooperation, it is the main drive for change, and it seems it will even strengthen in the future. This paper highlights connections that are otherwise hidden: ethnocentrism, racism, chauvinism, Social Darwinism and irrational emotionalism by analyzing their different components and using a broader, sub-legal framework. Each of these ideas are connected to each other, and affect market policies domestically and internationally. As lawmaking is not independent from its social environment, this also means that apart from legal answers, cultural-social answers must also be taken into consideration when trying to counter these tendencies.
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