Private Power and Global Authority: Transnational Merchant Law in the Global Political Economy

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Claire Cutler's critical analysis of the role that international economic law plays in the creation and maintenance of global power relations examines the historical and contemporary evolution of merchant law. She concludes that private interests have governed global economic relations through practices that are little understood. Interdisciplinary in scope, this study draws upon international relations and law, international political economy and political and legal theories. It will be an important first step toward developing a critical understanding of the political foundations of transnational merchant law.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… a very valuable step towards embracing a more comprehensive view of the complexity of developments in national, international and transnational law … Private Power and Global Authority deserves to be highlighted in many respects … a much needed study in internal relations. It is, in fact, more precisely a crucial report on international affairs.' EJIL

'… constitutes a very valuable step towards embracing a more comprehensive view of the complexity of developments in national, international and transnational law … a worthy attempt to visit and revisit the traditional approaches with which we have all been trained and professionalized … Private Power and Global Authority deserves to be highlighted in many respects … a much-needed study … a crucial report on internal affairs …'. European Journal of International Law

'What is interesting, and of high academic importance, is the way in which the author transcends the mere description of the transnational merchant law and places it into its true historical perspective.' Uniform Law Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

A. Claire Cutler is Associate Professor of International Relations and Law at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She is joint editor of Private Authority and International Affairs (1999) and Canadian Foreign Policy and International Economic Regimes (1992).

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Table of Contents

Acronyms and abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 Conceptualizing the role of law in the global political economy 16
3 Theorizing the role of law in the global political economy 60
4 Medieval lex mercatoria 108
5 State-building: constituting the public sphere and disembedding the private sphere 141
6 The modern law merchant and the mercatocracy 180
7 Conclusion: Transnational merchant law and global authority: a crisis of legitimacy 241
References 263
Cases cited 294
International treaties and United Nations documents 295
Index 298
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