The Political Economy of International Trade Law: Essays in Honor of Robert E. Hudec

By Daniel L. M. Kennedy; James D. Southwick | Go to book overview
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Sovereignty, subsidiarity, and separation of powers:
The high-wire balancing act of globalization

I Introduction

I am delighted and honored to be able to participate in this volume, assembled to express appreciation of the lifetime achievements of Professor Robert Hudec. Bob and I have been friends and professional collaborators and protagonists for so many decades now that I do not want to explain it in too great detail. However, there is no question that his enormous output of research, writing, and thinking has made a substantial contribution to world order and to the burgeoning new subject of international economic law. I hope my tentative writing in this manuscript will do honor to Professor Hudec's accomplishments.

The overall theme of this volume is “Transcending the Ostensible, and clearly the core subject of the book relates to the international economic system, particularly the trading system and related subjects. From the point of view of international economic law, therefore, the terrain is extraordinarily broad. What I plan to do here is to focus on a subject that is even broader, that has enormous implications for international economic law, but also other parts of international law, and, in doing so, I will try to relate that subject to the current problems of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Although it may not be completely obvious, my topic of “Sovereignty, subsidiarity, and separation of powers: the high wire balancing act of globalization” is in many ways at the center of a great deal of the current trade system diplomacy and jurisprudence development. You can see manifestations of the mental struggle on this subject in the remarkably articulate and carefully written Appellate Body opinions of the new WTO Dispute Settlement System.

Perhaps another way to put this is to quote from my own book, The World Trading System,1 in the last paragraph of the second edition. There I note two remarkable quotations: one is Tip O"s statement that “all politics is local, 2 the other is by Peter Drucker in a Foreign Affairs article which states “all economics is

John H. Jackson, The World Trading System: Law and Policy of International Economic Relations (MIT Press, 2ded. 1997).
See Thomas P. O'l & Gery Hymel, All Politics is Local (New York Times Books, 1994). “Tip” O'l was the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.


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