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The Time That Binds The ‘Trade-Development’ Nexus In International Economic Law

Alessandrini, Donatella (2021) The Time That Binds The ‘Trade-Development’ Nexus In International Economic Law. Trade, Law and Development, 12 (2). pp. 625-655. ISSN 0976-2329. E-ISSN 0975-3346. (KAR id:87549)

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This article takes issue with the conventional story about ‘trade and development’ according to which their nexus emerged in the immediate post-war period when the international community came to realise the wisdom of trade liberalisation and translated it into law. It argues that the trade-development nexus has a much older history, one in which continuities and (dis)continuities with the colonial period need to be taken into account to appreciate how, despite the seven decades long efforts of the international trade community, ‘development’ remains to be achieved and its promise continues to hold such normative force. This force reverberates within current development-related trade prescriptions, such as those that encourage developing countries to insert their firms into Global Value Chains and technologically ‘upgrade’ in order to develop. The article shows that once the continuities and (dis)continuities with the colonial period are made apparent, multilateral trade law can be seen as elevating a particular understanding of economic life (i.e., trade for growth) to a universal standing whilst at the same time enabling selective commercial interests to be pursued, thereby contradicting the free trade assumption about universal beneficial gains.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Edward Skeates
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2021 13:13 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 12:28 UTC
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