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World Trade Law after NeoliberalismReimagining the Global Economic Order$
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Andrew Lang

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199592647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592647.001.0001

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The Limits of Coherence

The Limits of Coherence

(p.132) 5 The Limits of Coherence
World Trade Law after Neoliberalism

Andrew Lang

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the critical potential of human rights as a tool for transforming global economic governance has so far been partially but significantly undermined by the tendency of many participants on all sides of the trade and human rights debate to adopt the essentializing, or reifying, discursive mode characteristic of the language of coherence. The first section sets out the basic reasons why founding a vision of reformed global trade governance on the idea of ‘coherence’ can miss the mark, and perhaps even make a genuine re-imagining of contemporary forms of trade governance more difficult to achieve. The second offers three illustrations of reformative projects inspired by this normative vision, and suggests that their limited success so far can be traced in part to the underlying logics identified in the first section.

Keywords:   human rights, economic governance, coherence, global trade governance

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