The Legalization of Global Economic Governance: Contracting or Multilateralism?

27 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2023 Last revised: 7 Dec 2023

See all articles by Karen J. Alter

Karen J. Alter

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science; University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence

Timothy Meyer

Duke University School of Law

Date Written: September 10, 2023

Abstract

Overlooked in discussions of today’s highly legalized international relations are the advantages and disadvantages associated with the form, nature, and structure of legal agreements. This article defines three legal ideal types of global economic governance– transnational private contracting, interstate contracting and principled multilateralism–focusing on how the choice among these types excludes actors and implicates public interests. We argue that: 1) states are always making choices, intentionally or tacitly, about which legal type governs transnational behavior; 2) these choices have distributional and political consequences; 3) global economic governance combines legal forms within regime complexes to either address or exclude public concerns. The focus on legal form is therefore a way to understand how legalized globalization balances and undermines the balance between private and public rights. While we focus on the consequences for domestic publics and for future negotiations, the three ideal types have implications that reach beyond these questions.

Keywords: international agreements, international trade, international investment law, international tax, international institutions, treaties, international economic law

JEL Classification: F02; K33

Suggested Citation

Alter, Karen J. and Meyer, Timothy, The Legalization of Global Economic Governance: Contracting or Multilateralism? (September 10, 2023). Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2023-52, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 23-62, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4567535 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4567535

Karen J. Alter

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, DK-2300
Denmark

Timothy Meyer (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
117
Abstract Views
602
Rank
445,555
PlumX Metrics