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Ecological Sensitivity and Global Legal Pluralism: Rethinking the Trade and Environment Conflict

By: Oren Perez

Hart Publishing Ltd

Hardback | Dec 2004 | #170940 | ISBN: 1841133485
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NHBS Price: £50.00 $65/€57 approx

About this book

The tension between trade liberalisation and environmental protection has received remarkable attention since the establishment of the WTO. It has been the subject of a wide-ranging debate, and is one of the central themes of the anti-globalisation movement. This book explores that debate. It argues that by focusing on the WTO, the debate has failed to recognise the institutional and discursive complexity in which the trade-environment conflict is embedded. A legal investigation of this nexus requires a framework of inquiry, in which this complexity can be elucidated - a model of global legal pluralism.

The first theoretical part of the book (Chapters One and Two) responds to this challenge by developing a pluralistic model, which recognises the trade and environment conflict as the product of multiple dilemmas, constituted and negotiated by a myriad of institutional and discursive networks. As such, this conflict cannot be understood or addressed through one-dimensional models. Viewing the trade-environment conflict through a pluralistic perspective yields important practical insights. It means that this conflict cannot be resolved by uniform economic or legal formulae. Dealing with this conflict requires, rather, polycentric and contextual strategy.

The empirical part of the book (Chapters Three to Seven) explicates this thesis by examining several global legal domains, ranging from the WTO to 'private' transnational regimes such as transnational litigation, international construction law and international financial law. This part demonstrates how the different discursive and institutional structures of these domains have influenced the contours of the trade-environment conflict, and considers the policy implications of this diversity from a pro-environmental perspective.

an important contributionPerez opens up new possibilities of what an international trade regime could do, rather than simply arguing that additional values impinging upon trade should be taken into consideration.Halton A. PetersStanford Journal of International Law, Vol 42, No 1Winter 2006His approach should be commended, as should his clear and well-written presentation. He offers solid analysis of the law in these various realms studied and, usefully, brings it together into one volume. Cameron HutchisonJournal of Environmental LawDec 2005concise, creative styleEach chapter includes pragmatic suggestions for leveraging the hidden sensitivities in each regime's culture to afford greater environmental protection Christopher Cade MosleyGlobal Law BooksAug 05a new and elucidating contributionMatthias GoldmannHeidelberg Journal of International Law2005well-written, innovative, and welcome contribution to the debate about the trade and environment conflict in the global institutional and legal context...refreshing and well-researchedKati Kulovesi, London School of Economics and Political ScienceThe Yearbook of European Environmental Law, Vol. 5September 2005The breadth of Perez's discussion is indeed impressive and well balanced...he carefully examines every aspect of the controversy, thus greatly enriching the debate.Ana Nina MartinsLeiden Journal of International LawSeptember 2005


1. Deconstructing the Trade and Environment Conflict: a Pluralistic Perspective2. The Trade-Environment Problematique: Fantasy or Reality? 3. The GATT/WTO Trade-Environment Jurisprudence4. Science,Standardization and the SPS/TBT Regimes5. Environmental Conflicts in the Private Realm of International Construction Law 6. Transnational Environmental Litigation7. International Financial law as a New Locus for Environmental Action 8. Conclusion

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Oren Perez is a Lecturer in Law at Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

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