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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

When considering international economic governance, observers often focus on the lack of clear lines of demarcation regarding which rules apply. Businesses may complain about being subject to conflicting regulatory regimes; those concerned with labor rights, consumer protection, and the environment worry about regulatory evasion; and those focused on the philosophy of governance emphasize the possibility that norms regulating behavior may be unmoored from what is seen as a legitimate governing authority or polity. All of these concerns, however, rest on the assumption that for every dispute there should be one prevailing authority. This chapter questions that assumption, arguing that there is often no conceptually satisfying way to dictate a single set of legal norms to apply to a dispute and that the effort to do so often skews our focus. Instead, by embracing the pluralism at the heart of international economic governance, we can turn our attention to developing workable procedures, institutions, and discursive practices for managing multiple jurisdictional assertions by state and nonstate actors alike. We may even find that the existence of multiple ports of entry for normative assertions opens space for contestation, resistance, and creative possibility.

Keywords: international economic governance, legal pluralism, globalization, jurisdiction, deterritorialization

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