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Beyond history and boundaries: rethinking the past in the present of international economic law

Sakr, Rafael Lima (2019) Beyond history and boundaries: rethinking the past in the present of international economic law. Journal of International Economic Law, 22 (1). pp. 57-91. ISSN 1369-3034

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jiel/jgz001


History and boundaries are the foundations of international economic law (IEL) as a professional and intellectual field. History is often told to support a wide variety of present projects, norms, and ideas by appealing to the past. Boundary is a technique frequently used to map and defend an exclusive domain for applying the IEL expertise to a broad range of programmes, rules, and theories. This article first describes how history and boundaries interact to produce a 'traditional' view of IEL past and present place in the world economy. This interaction structures how lawyers assert the authority and legitimacy of IEL in global economic governance. It then argues that the commitments of the traditional approach to Anglocentrism and Modernism limit lawyers' ability to understand and solve the present-day issues, since it produces lessons only in support of the dominant programmes, norms, and ideas under contestation. Consequently, it constrains, instead of empowers, lawyers' imagination. Building on this critique, the article outlines an alternative approach devised to rethink the IEL field and, more importantly, which past or new projects, norms, and theories do or do not count (or should or should not count) as part of it. It concludes with reflections on how we might go about reimagining IEL in response to the contemporary challenges to global economic governance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 14:27
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:05

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