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Rethinking The Sovereignty Debate In International Economic Law


  • Kal Raustiala


Many observers argue that sovereignty is threatened by the ongoing expansion of international economic institutions. This article explores a school of thought that counterintuitively argues that institutions such as the World Trade Organization in fact strengthen sovereignty. These theories collectively highlight an under-explored proposition: that changes in the international system or in domestic politics have already compromised sovereignty and thus international institutions, while rendering the erosion of sovereignty more legible, actually serve as a means to reassert or reclaim sovereignty. These ideas are important for two reasons. First, they challenge prevailing wisdom and thus offer an alternative guide for policy. Second, they suggest that our conceptions of sovereignty are unduly narrow and may be increasingly anachronistic. In particular, scholars must consider more deeply the purpose and role of sovereignty in the contemporary world. Oxford University Press 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Kal Raustiala, 2003. "Rethinking The Sovereignty Debate In International Economic Law," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 841-878, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:6:y:2003:i:4:p:841-878

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