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The globalisation of markets has pushed static, territorially-bounded legal structures towards a more rapid and efficient adaptation to the globalised and regionalised reality. In addition, substantial modifications in the structure and activities of financial institutions have increased risks and the need for new regulatory responses. Efforts to harmonise commercial law within the global order have resulted in a fragmented and ad hoc process, constructed according to multiple different interests and in order to preserve public policies in the face of transnational challenges. This book is the first to systematically analyse the current state of commercial law from a global perspective. The author seeks to both identify the reasons that are fostering the harmonisation process and to explain the ways in which it is developing. Among the relevant elements examined in this thorough analysis are the following: how emerging countries are absorbing international standards (with a special case study of Brazil); the impact of corporate activities on legal systems; the role of the corporation in promoting the standardisation of laws; issues of social responsibility and corporate accountability; justifications for the regulation of the corporate world; free trade vs. "fair trade"; the impact of treaty reservations and different forms of treaty incorporation into national legal systems; interaction between regional trade agreements and the WTO system; how movements of capital are reflected in international initiatives as well as in regional legislation and regulation; co-operation among national financial authorities; the emerging new lex mercatoria; and, the role of professional associations such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).