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The processes of legal and economic integration at a regional and global scale have created powerful legal and economic dilemmas. They challenge the paradigms of constitutionalism, including the State's monopoly of constitutionalism, the autonomy of national political communities and the traditional forms of participation and representation.
The phenomena of globalization and regional forms of governance have promoted the inter-dependence of national political communities and destroyed the artificial boundaries upon which national constitutional democracies are found and from which they derive their legitimacy. Furthermore, it is inevitable that the development of international trade and economic integration will raise claims for some form of global distributive justice to complement the wealth maximization arising from free trade.
The essays in this collection, written by leading scholars in international trade law, argue the pros and cons of greater regional and global regulation. They conclude that whatever the final framework for international trade, the critical decisions about institutional form and content will be decided in an emerging global political arena.