Introduction: the discipline of international economic law at a crossroads

Rasulov, A. (2020) Introduction: the discipline of international economic law at a crossroads. In: Haskell, J. and Rasulov, A. (eds.) New Voices and New Perspectives in International Economic Law. Series: European Yearbook of International Economic Law. Springer, pp. 1-36. ISBN 9783030325114 (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-32512-1_1)

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Old certainties are melting away. An era has drawn to a close. The foundations of the global economic system are rapidly changing. The opening of intellectual horizons that has come in the wake of these epochal shifts calls for a fundamental rethinking of the main functions and tasks of international economic law (IEL) as a disciplinary project. It also calls for a new explanation of international law’s systemic potential, power, and effectivity in the context of contemporary global governance. How does international law influence the workings of international economic governance? What are the main ways in which it can impact on the course of global economic affairs? Drawing on the traditions of legal realism, Marxism, and classical law-and-economics, this essay outlines a four-fold theory of IEL’s regulatory effectivity: IEL as a price-setting mechanism, IEL as a mechanism for the structuring of opportunities, IEL as a mechanism of ideological legitimation, and IEL as a mechanism of disciplining and interpellation. The goal of this theoretical project is to promote an intellectual recalibration of IEL’s disciplinary ambit along fundamentally functionalist lines: the discipline of IEL should study everything that pertains to how the effective legal realities of global economic governance are set up, how they operate, and how they are produced. The dreariness of the déjà vu one feels when looking at the traditional IEL scholarship would have probably felt a lot more tolerable had we somehow been able to muster the sense that the endless reproduction of the established paradigm might eventually lead to something tangibly good and positive in the external world outside our debates. But by and large, we know, that is simply not true. And so the question inevitably arises: if all of that which we have got used to practising as a scholarly community is still getting us nowhere better than where we have been before, why not try something different?

Item Type:Book Sections (Introduction)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rasulov, Professor Akbar
Authors: Rasulov, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Published Online:11 December 2019

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