Relational Trade Networks

Ilias Ioannou, ‘Relational Trade Networks’ (2023) The Cambridge Law Journal (forthcoming)

33 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2023

See all articles by Ilias Ioannou

Ilias Ioannou

University of Bristol; Centre for Commercial Law Studies Queen Mary, University of London

Date Written: January 2023

Abstract

This paper argues that in platform-based digitalisation of international trade processes, the use of blockchain instead of a central database system does not by itself adequately address the platform provider’s potential to engage in opportunistic behaviour. Digital transformation of international trade is, thus, constrained by hold-up problems. This requires embedding governance mechanisms in platform rulebooks designed to establish trust and commonality of interests. The article proposes a governance mechanism to promote widespread digital adoption through contract design choices based on guiding principles that can establish legally enforceable behavioural standards which align with the relational characteristics of digital trade networks.

Keywords: international trade, electronic trade documents, platform governance, blockchain, relational contracts, business networks.

JEL Classification: K11, K12, L14, L51

Suggested Citation

Ioannou, Ilias, Relational Trade Networks (January 2023). Ilias Ioannou, ‘Relational Trade Networks’ (2023) The Cambridge Law Journal (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4623618

Ilias Ioannou (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

36 Tyndall's Park Road
Bristol, Avon BS8 1TB
United Kingdom

Centre for Commercial Law Studies Queen Mary, University of London ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London
United Kingdom

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