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Book Chapter

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International Law and Its Discontents: Confronting Crisis


The thesis that I wish to develop in this chapter is that a functionalist view of the development of global institutions suggests that the structural inequalities in global income that were a primary cause of the global economic crisis of 2008, and that continue to endanger the world economy, have the potential to provide the political preconditions for a global regime that can help redress those inequalities. To do so, however, such a regime must empower the less economically well off through representation, and the regime itself must have the practical ability to influence global economic policy. Such a regime, I will argue, must be fundamentally democratic in its character. If it were to be brought into existence, a democratic regime, representative of the global public, would likely weigh in on many issues beyond income inequality.

Environmental concerns, including climate change, human rights, and international conflict resolution are only a few of the areas where a parliament might be argued to have salutary value. A focus on economic inequality as a matter of great saliency today, however, presents a useful case study for both the political viability and utility of such an institution.

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This material was published in International Law and Its Discontents: Confronting Crisis, edited by Barbara Stark. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for redistribution, resale or use in derivative works. Copyright © Barbara Stark, Cambridge University Press.

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Cambridge University Press

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New York, NY

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