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Democracy, Redistribution and the WTO: A Comment on Quinn Slobodian's book Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism Harvard University Press, 2018

  • Frieder Roessler

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Formerly Executive Director of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law, Visiting Professor at the Georgetown University Law Centre and Director of Legal Affairs at the GATT Secretariat.

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1 Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann left the GATT Secretariat to pursue a very successful academic career, publishing prolifically in the field of international economic relations. He wrote a detailed review of Slobodian's book, challenging many aspects of Slobodian's analysis of neoliberal thinking (Journal of International Economic Law, 21 (2018), pages 915–921). The present brief comment, which concentrates on Slobodian's analysis of the relationship between redistributive policies and the law of the WTO, can be read as a supplement to Professor Petersmann's review.

2 Page 8.

3 Page 9.

4 Page 8.

5 Page 16.

6 Page 272.

7 Page 363.

8 Page 285.

9 Page 286.

10 Pages 19–20.

11 Page 257.

12 Quoted from: Irwin, D. A., Clashing over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2017), page 385.

13 Ibid., page 432.

14 These ideas are elaborated in Roessler, F., Essays on the Legal Structure, Functions and Limits of the World Trade Order (London: Cameron May, 2000), pages 95–117.

15 Corden, M., Trade Policy and Economic Welfare (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974), page 2.

16 Roessler, F., ‘The Constitutional Function of the Multilateral Trade Order’, in Hilf, M. and Petersmann, E.-U. (eds.), National Constitutions and International Economic Law (Deventer: Kluwer, 1993), pages 53–62.

17 Hudec, R. E.Circumventing Democracy: The Political Morality of Trade Negotiations’, 23 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (1993), 311322.

18 Ibid.

* Formerly Executive Director of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law, Visiting Professor at the Georgetown University Law Centre and Director of Legal Affairs at the GATT Secretariat.

Democracy, Redistribution and the WTO: A Comment on Quinn Slobodian's book Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism Harvard University Press, 2018

  • Frieder Roessler

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