Corporate Power, National Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in a Global Economy
The international economic law that has evolved in the second half of the twentieth century has been concerned almost exclusively with regulating the behavior of nations. This contrasts with domestic economic law, which also regulates private economic activity. The emergence of a global economy has revealed, at times painfully, the need for a parallel form of international economic law, because individual nations will not be able effectively to regulate international economic activity on their own. Yet the creation of international arrangements inevitably raise issues of political legitimacy, which remains nationally grounded. Legal arrangements in the next century must reconcile competing policy ends with the demand for democratic autonomy and accountability. Whether nations are willing to cooperate in pursuit of these shared interest may depend as much on geopolitical interests as on economic needs.